A study has revealed gay, bisexual, and questioning teens (LGBQ) are more likely to face abuse from their parents and partners than their straight counterparts.
The U.S Centers for Disease Control (CDC) surveyed almost 29,000 teens aged between 14 and 18 during 2015-2017, U.S News reported.
Researchers at JAMA Pediatrics have now looked at the findings and found the abuse rates between LBG and straight teens “striking”.
The study revealed over 1 in 10 LGB teens reported abuse from a romantic partner in the previous year.
Additionally, 1 in 5 said they had been the victims of sexual assault.
Moreover, bisexual and lesbians teens were twice as likely to have gotten into physical altercations.
And in comparison to straight boys, gay and bisexual boys were five times more likely to have been sexually assaulted.
These findings become even more alarming when you learn the amount of LGBQ teens surveyed.
Of the participants, 87% said they were straight.
Two percent identified as gay or lesbian, and 7% said they were bisexual.
In addition, a further 4% said they weren’t sure or were questioning their sexuality.
Everyone who did not say they were straight, were counted as LGBQ.
Theodore Caputi of the Health Equity Research Lab said the study was the first to use a recent and nationally representative sample.
He said it has helped to gauge the scope of abuse and violence among LGBQ teens.
“Unfortunately, physical and sexual violence are commonplace in the daily lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning adolescents,” Caputi said.
“Given the severe physical, mental and emotional health consequences of violence victimhood, this high prevalence represents a public health crisis.”
Building LGB youth up
San Francisco State University’s Family Acceptance Project (FAP) is an LGBTQ child and youth advocacy group.
They conduct research and provide education surrounding LGBTQ matters.
FAP’s director, Caitlin Ryan has said these findings concern her, and she is calling for more support of LGBTQ youth.
“These high levels of physical violence, forced intercourse and sexual assault towards lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are very alarming,” she said.
“[They] call for targeted violence prevention and intervention services.
“This means building supportive environments that affirm LGBTQ children and youth, and increasing support in families, schools, congregations and community institutions.”
Caputi agrees with Ryan and has characterised the findings as a call to action.
“All adults have a role to play in fostering accepting and safe environments for LGBQ children,” he said.
If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of abuse there is always help available.
You can phone Qlife on 1800 184 527 or visit them at qlife.org.au
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