Gay bashing is an attack, abuse, or assault committed against a person who is perceived by the aggressor to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). It includes both violence against LGBT people and LGBT bullying. The term covers violence against and bullying of people who are LGBT, as well as heterosexual people whom the attacker perceives to be LGBT.

Physical gay bashings sometimes involve extreme violence or murder motivated by the victim's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

LGBT youth are more likely to report bullying than non-LGBT youth, particularly in schools. Victims of LGBT bullying may feel unsafe, resulting in depression and anxiety, including increased rates of suicide and attempted suicide. LGBT students may try to pass as heterosexual to escape the bullying, leading to further stress and isolation from available supports. Support organizations exist in many countries to prevent LGBT bullying and support victims. Some jurisdictions have passed legislation against LGBT bullying and harassment.

Violence

Main article: Violence against LGBT people

LGBT people frequently experience violence directed toward their sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression.[1] This violence may be enacted by the state, as in laws prescribing punishment for homosexual acts, or by individuals. It may be motivated by biphobia, gayphobia, homophobia, lesbophobia, and transphobia. Influencing factors may be cultural, religious, or political mores and biases.[2]

Bullying

Bullying of LGBT people, particularly LGBT youth, involves intentional actions toward the victim, repeated negative actions by one or more people against another person, and an imbalance of physical or psychological power.[3]

LGBT youth are more likely to report bullying than non-LGBT youth.[4] In one study, boys who were bullied with taunts of being gay suffered more bullying and more negative effects compared with boys who were bullied with other categories of taunting.[5] Some researchers suggest including youth questioning their sexuality in any research on LGBT bullying because they may be as susceptible to its effects as LGBT students.[6][7][8]

Schools

Homophobic and transphobic violence in schools can be categorized as explicit and implicit. Explicit homophobic and transphobic violence consists of overt acts that make subjects feel uncomfortable, hurt, humiliated or intimidated. Peers and educational staff are unlikely to intervene when witnessing these incidents. This contributes to normalizing such acts that become accepted as either a routine disciplinary measure or a means to resolve conflicts among students. Homophobic and transphobic violence – as with all school-related gender-based violence – is acutely underreported due to subjects' fear of retribution, combined with inadequate or non-existent reporting, support and redress systems.[9][10][11][12] The absence of effective policies, protection or remedies contributes to a vicious cycle where incidents become increasingly normal.[13]

Implicit homophobic and transphobic violence, sometimes called 'symbolic violence' or 'institutional' violence, is subtler than explicit violence. It consists of pervasive representations or attitudes that sometimes feel harmless or natural to the school community, but that allow or encourage homophobia and transphobia, including perpetuating harmful stereotypes. Policies and guidelines can reinforce or embed these representations or attitudes, whether in an individual institution or across an entire education sector. This way, they can become part of everyday practices and rules guiding school behaviour.[14][15][13] Examples of implicit homophobic and transphobic violence include:

Egale Canada, along with previous research, has found teachers and school administration may be complicit in LGBT bullying through their silence and/or inaction.[16][17][18][6]

Graffiti found on school grounds and property, and its "relative permanence",[18] is another form of LGBT bullying.

American sociologist Michael Kimmel and American psychologist Gregory Herek write that masculinity is a renunciation of the feminine and that males shore up their sense of their masculinity by denigrating the feminine and ultimately the homosexual.[19][20] Building on the notion of masculinity defining itself by what it is not, some researchers suggest that in fact the renunciation of the feminine may be misogyny.[17][18] These intertwining issues were examined in 2007, when American sociologist CJ Pascoe described what she calls the "fag discourse" at an American high school in her book, Dude, You're a Fag.

Effects

Victims of LGBT bullying may feel chronically depressed, anxious, and unsafe in the world.[21][22] Bullying will affect a student's experience of school. Some victims might feel paralyzed and withdraw socially as a coping mechanism.[16] Others may begin to live the effects of learned helplessness.[22]

LGBT and questioning youth who experience bullying have a higher incidence of substance abuse and sexually transmitted infections.[7][23][24] LGBT bullying may also be seen as a manifestation of what American academic Ilan Meyer calls minority stress, which may affect sexual and ethno-racial minorities attempting to exist within a challenging broader society.[25]

Gay and lesbian youth can develop severe forms of depression and anxiety as they grow up. Around 70% of LGBT people experience major depressive disorder (MDD) sometime in their lives.[26] For LGBT individuals, MDD can be caused by any of the following: self-esteem, pressure to conform, minority stress, coming out, family rejection, parenting, relationship formation, and violence.[27] A person can be harassed to the point where their depression becomes too much and they no longer experience any happiness. These factors all work together and make it extremely hard to avoid MDD.[27]

The rate of suicide is higher among LGBT people:

LGBT or questioning students may try to pass as heterosexual in order to avoid LGBT bullying. Passing isolates the student from other LGBT or questioning students, potential allies, and support.[18] Adults who try to pass also may feel the effects emotionally and psychologically, of this effort to conceal their true identities.[20]

Statistics

Canada

Egale Canada conducted a survey of more than 3,700 high school students in Canada between December 2007 and June 2009. The final report of the survey, "Every Class in Every School",[32] published in 2011, found that 70% of all students participating heard "that's so gay" daily at school, and 48% of respondents heard "faggot", "lezbo" and "dyke" daily. 58% or about 1,400 of the 2,400 heterosexual students participating in EGALE's survey found homophobic comments upsetting. Further, EGALE found that students not directly affected by homophobia, biphobia or transphobia were less aware of it. This finding relates to research done in the area of empathy gaps for social pain which suggests that those not directly experiencing social pain (in this case, bullying) consistently underestimate its effects and thus may not adequately respond to the needs of one experiencing social pain.[33]

United Kingdom

About two-thirds of gay and lesbian students in British schools have suffered from gay bullying in 2007, according to a study done by the Schools Education Unit for LGBT activist group Stonewall. Almost all that had been bullied had experienced verbal attacks, 41 percent had been physically attacked, and 17 percent had received death threats. It also showed that over 50% of teachers did not respond to homophobic language which they had explicitly heard in the classroom, and only 25% of schools had told their students that homophobic bullying was wrong, showing "a shocking picture of the extent of homophobic bullying undertaken by fellow pupils and, alarmingly, school staff",[34] with further studies conducted by the same charity in 2012 stated that 90% of teachers had had no training on the prevention of homophobic bullying. However, Ofsted's new 2012 framework did ask schools what they would be doing in order to combat the issue.[35]

A research study of 78 eleven to fourteen-year-old boys conducted in twelve schools in London, England between 1998 and 1999[17] revealed that respondents who used the word "gay" to label another boy in a derogatory manner intended the word as "just a joke", "just a cuss" and not as a statement of one's perceived sexual orientation.[18][36]

United States

A 1998 study in the US by Mental Health America found that students heard anti-gay slurs such as "homo", "faggot" and "sissy" about 26 times a day on average, or once every 14 minutes.[37] In a study conducted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, a union for UK professionals, the word "gay" was reported to be the most popular term of abuse heard by teachers on a regular basis.[38]

Cases

United Kingdom

United States

Support organizations

Anti-LGBT bullying legislation

Some U.S. states have implemented laws to address school bullying.  .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Law that prohibits discrimination against students based on sexual orientation and gender identity    Law that prohibits discrimination against students based on sexual orientation only    Law that prohibits bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity    School regulation or ethical code for teachers that address discrimination and/or bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity    School regulation or ethical code for teachers that address discrimination and/or bullying of students based on sexual orientation only    Law that forbids school-based instruction of LGBT issues in a positive manner    Law that prohibits bullying in school but lists no categories of protection    No statewide law that specifically prohibits bullying in schools
Some U.S. states have implemented laws to address school bullying.
  Law that prohibits discrimination against students based on sexual orientation and gender identity
  Law that prohibits discrimination against students based on sexual orientation only
  Law that prohibits bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity
  School regulation or ethical code for teachers that address discrimination and/or bullying of students based on sexual orientation and gender identity
  School regulation or ethical code for teachers that address discrimination and/or bullying of students based on sexual orientation only
  Law that forbids school-based instruction of LGBT issues in a positive manner
  Law that prohibits bullying in school but lists no categories of protection
  No statewide law that specifically prohibits bullying in schools

In 2000, the state of California enacted the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act (AB 537), a bill that prohibits harassment and discrimination on the basis of perceived or actual gender identity or sexual orientation.[57]

The state of Illinois passed a law (SB3266) in June 2010 that prohibits gay bullying and other forms of bullying in schools.[58]

In the Philippines, legislators implemented Republic Act No. 10627, otherwise known as the Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, in schools. According to the said law, gender-based bullying is defined as ˮany act that humiliates or excludes a person on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)ˮ.[59]

See also

Sources

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 This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0 (license statement/permission). Text taken from Out in the Open: Education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, 26, UNESCO, UNESCO. UNESCO. To learn how to add open license text to Wikipedia articles, please see this how-to page. For information on reusing text from Wikipedia, please see the terms of use.

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Further reading