Homophobia remains rife amongst Australian teenage boys according to a new study which suggests that over a third of teenage boys would not like to include same-sex attracted people into their group of friends.
In TNS’ study of over 300 14-17 year old Australian males, one in five said they find it hard to treat same-sex attracted people the same as others, while six in 10 said they had witnessed first-hand people being bullied for their sexuality and four in 10 said they had seen people bullied for the same reason on social media.
A quarter said terms such as “homo”, “dyke” and “confused” are “not really that bad”, while four in 10 either agreed that they felt anxious or uncomfortable around same-sex attracted people or did not disagree that they felt this way.
Additionally, almost a quarter (23%) of Australian teenage boys still believe that it ok to describe something that they dislike as being ‘gay’.
To combat these concerning findings, Beyond Blue is resurrecting a 7 week cinema advertising campaign which features a group of boys bully a left-handed teenager, calling him a “freak”, to highlight the absurdity of discriminating against people just for being themselves.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said that the averts were highly successful when they first ran in 2012, but believes there is now a new audience of teenage boys who need to hear the message.
“It wasn’t long ago that left-handed people were routinely discriminated against, told there was something wrong with them and forced to write with their right-hand. Thankfully that no longer happens,” Harman said. “Sadly, the same can’t be said for the discrimination faced by LGBTI people, who are still made to feel like crap just for being themselves.
“Research shows young males hold more homophobic attitudes than the general public and this latest study shows that, no matter what other gains have been made for LGBTI people, homophobia remains common among teenage boys. This is particularly concerning given young LGBTI people are already three to six times more likely to be distressed than their straight peers.
The ‘Stop. Think. Respect: Left Hand’ campaign ads will run for seven weeks in cinemas, on websites and on social media.