LGBT Students 3 Times More Likely to be Raped or Assaulted Than Peers
Almost every LGBT person alive either discovered or confirmed what their sexual identity was as a young child or as a teenager.
LGBT people usually discover their sexual identity when they don’t have the experience or maturity to understand what sexual identity fully means on their own.
That is because LGBT people usually learn what their sexuality identity is via the prism of how family, friends, peers, community and society view sexuality and the LGBT identity in particular.
Adults are supposed to be able to help themselves and be strong enough to deal with adversity, disappointment and life.
A child’s and teenager’s only job is to learn more information tomorrow than they did today. It is the job of educators and parents alike to help children learn, become morally and civically responsible people and to transition into adulthood and the real world.
The unspoken and cruel exception to the education maxim of doing our best to help high school students is that usually that means heterosexual high school students.
A new study analyzing sexual identity and sexual behavior in high school students, conducted in 2015 by the Biennial Youth Risk Behavior Survey under the auspices of the Centers for Disease, offers credence to this assertion.
The nation-wide and government backed study, the first of its kind, conducted a survey of almost 16,000 high school students, aged 14 to 17, in 2015.
Based on those surveys the study concluded that about 8% of all high school students, a number projection of about 1 million students, identified as LGBT.
The study found that LGBT youth, high school students in particular, are 300% times more likely to raped or assaulted than their heterosexual peers.
LGBT high school students are more at risk to experience severe bouts of depression, experiment with addictive, hard drugs like heroin, contemplate suicide or engage in risky, self-destructive behavior than their peers.
LGBT high school students were more likely to avoid school and be excessively truant because they feared for their personal safety due to bullying, violence or anti-LGBT harassment.
Well over 40% of LGBT students have contemplated suicide, which is almost a fourth more than their peers. 6% of LGBT students have admitted trying heroin compared to 1% of their peers doing the same.
The survey is not perfect however. In fact, it may really be just a beta test to perfect later surveys.
There was no option for students to identify themselves as transgender, which is questionable considering the national and political debate currently raging about transgender people and public restroom use.
About 3% of the students surveyed said that they were not sure exactly what their sexual identity was. This data is worrisome because it means that there are a lot of sexually conflicted or confused high school teenagers burdened with the pain of not being able to express their identities. Or even knowing what it is in the first place.
How will such students be helped in the future? The survey, a data dump, offers no such answers.
The survey organizers have stated that the 2017 edition of the survey will include, “transgender,” as a sexual identity option.
Moreover, while the statistics are startling, no authority has said yet what will be done with the information.
Stating insultingly and obliviously obvious facts like life is difficult, violent, lonely and ostracizing for LGBT youth to the LGBT community, who intimately know such things, is preaching to the choir.
How will this information be used to help LGBT students and to the enlighten the greater public? What educational and societal reforms will be instituted to help LGBT high school students? How will the culture of LGBT harassment, bullying and ostracizing be handled?
Data has it uses, but the LGBT community needs reform, action and the respect to live.
And the right to freely express sexual identity without fear of violence.