Youth with diverse gender identities can be bullied and victimized up to three times more often than their peers who identify as male or female, according to new study of more than 4,464 teens in Illinois .
The students were part of a statewide survey of youth in grades 8 to 12 in Illinois schools.
“Transgender youth reported the highest rates of all forms of peer victimization, which were almost double those of men and up to 2.6 times those of women,” said Rachel Garthe, professor of social work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who led the research.
“Just over half of transgender youth have reported verbal abuse such as peers calling them names or spreading rumors about them. About one in three young people reported cyber victimization, and slightly less emotional dating violence, “such as a dating partner disparaging or trying to control them,” Garthe said.
Young people with a broad gender – college students who do not identify as male, female, or transgender – have experienced disproportionately higher rates of all forms of bullying and dating violence.
Of those students, 41% were victims of verbal abuse, nearly 32% were victims of cyberbullying and 19% were victims of physical violence, according to the study.
Garthe said the results, published in the journal Pediatrics, are of great concern and highlight the need for supportive policies and practices for students with diverse gender identities who may need help coping with psychological and physical violence from their peers and dating partners.
In addition, she said more programs are needed in schools to prevent the perpetration of these types of violence.
An equal number of male, female, transgender and sexist students were included in the research. The study was novel in that it included a large cross-section of transgender individuals, and the experiences of broad-sex individuals were explored as a separate group, Garthe said.
The students in the current study were a subset of participants in the Illinois Youth Survey 2018, a biennial survey that collects data on a variety of social, behavioral, and health indicators from youth in Illinois schools. . The Prevention Research and Development Center, a unit within the School of Social Work at U. De I., is investigating.
Despite a growing number of schools implementing anti-bullying policies that include protections based on gender or gender identity, rates of victimization remain high among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and young people in the world. questioning, according to research.
However, LGBTQ students report feeling safer and more connected at school and experiencing fewer negative gender-related remarks from their peers when resources such as inclusive LGBTQ programs are taught, according to the report. study.
When anti-bullying policies with LGBTQ protections are implemented, students are less likely to be forced to use bathrooms that match their assigned gender or to wear clothing inconsistent with their identity or gender expression, Garthe said.
“To improve the effectiveness of these policies and further support these students, anti-transphobic education for teachers, administrators and students is needed, as well as the use of pronouns that reflect the gender identity of individuals”, Garthe said.
U. of I. co-authors of the article were research biostatistician Amandeep Kaur, of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Health Sciences; and graduate students Agnes Rieger, Allyson M. Blackburn and Shongha Kim. Social work professor Jacob Goffnett, University of Arkansas, was also a co-author.