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Eighty-three Thousand Youth: Selected Findings of Eight Population-Based Studies

May 1, 1999

Meta-analysis of quantitative research that explores the particular needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students and sheds light on the issue of anti-gay harassment in schools. The studies include six statewide surveys, two administered in urban school districts and one conducted in the schools of 55 American Indian tribes. The report looks at the three studies which had been done at the time in which students were asked about experiencing sexual-orientation-based harassment, at the rates as well as the correlates of this type of bullying and violence. It also examines and compares the findings of four studies in which students were asked their sexual orientation and five that asked proximal questions and then used them (alone or in combination with identity) to infer respondents' "actual" sexual orientations. Proximal variables included gender(s) of people with whom the respondent has had sexual experiences, gender(s) of people to whom the respondent feels attraction and/or expects to have sexual experiences, and gender(s) about whom the respondent fantasizes.

They Don't Even Know Me! Understanding Anti-Gay Harassment and Violence in Schools

January 1, 1999

The Safe Schools Project was a five-year, statewide qualitative study examining the phenomenon of anti-gay harassment and violence in schools, kindergarten through grade twelve. All the incidents and patterns of harassment we analyzed occurred at school or at least partly on school property, on the way to or from school, or at a school-sponsored event, such as a field trip or a basketball game. Respondents participated in 30-45 minute interviews to help us answer such questions as: - What kinds of things happen in these incidents?- What is the nature of anti-gay harassment and violence in schools?- When and where do these acts of harassment and violence seem to happen?- Who may be targeted? Who is vulnerable? Who may be offenders?- How do youth witnesses seem to respond?- How do targeted individuals say they are affected? How do students who witness these incidents say they are affected?- Why do targets, witnesses, friends and family members sometimes choose not to report incidents to school authorities?- How do families seem to respond, when they know about the harassment?- How do school employees handle the harassment (from the perspective of students and families, as well as educators)?- How do respondents wish their principals had handled the incidents, assuming they knew what had happened? We analyzed, in the end, two completed suicides, among a total of 111 incidents of Washington State, school-based anti-gay harassment and violence: