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Update: GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey

10/12/2013

2011 Climate ReportThis evening I have uploaded onto my resource page, GLSEN‘s 2011 National School Climate Survey. Overall, this report provides data on a total of 8,584 students between the ages of 13 and 20 took part from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The results showed that  84.9%  heard “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) frequently or often at school, and 91.4% reported that they felt distressed because of this language. Additionally, 56.9% of students reported hearing negative remarks about gender expression from teachers or other school staff.

63.5% felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation, and 43.9% because of their gender expression. In terms of victimization, 81.9% were verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation in the past year, and 63.9% because of their gender expression. 38.3% were physically harassed because of their sexual and 27.1% because of their gender expression. One fifth (18.3%) were physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and 12.4% because of their gender expression. Of concern, 55.2% of LGBT students experienced cyberbullying.

Many LGBT students avoid classes or miss entire days of school rather than face a hostile school climate with 29.8% saying that skipped  class at least once in the past month.Students who experienced higher levels of victimization because of their sexual orientation were three
times as likely to have missed school in the past month than those who experienced lower levels (57.9% vs. 19.6%). Furthermore, students who experienced higher levels of victimization because of their gender identity were more than twice as likely to have missed school in the past month than those who experienced lower levels (53.2% vs. 20.4%).

GLSEN also reports that experiencing victimization in school hinders LGBT students’ academic success and educational aspirations. For example, students who were frequently harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression had lower grade point averages than students who were less often harassed (2.9 vs. 3.2) and were less likely to consider college or further study.

Finally, experiences of harassment and assault were related to poorer psychological well-being for LGBT students with high levels of depression reported by those who experienced most harassment.

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