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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Bullying of LGBT youth and school climate for LGBT educators

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students continue to report more often than their heterosexual peers, through repeated studies (Kosciw, et al, 2010), a much higher incidence of experiencing bullying and harassment in schools. These students also reported a higher degree of isolation and few role models in schools. This paper discusses and relates results from a 2011 study during which teachers who self-identified as LGBT completed a survey to provide information on the workplace climate. …

  2. Youth empowerment and high school Gay-Straight Alliances

    In the field of positive youth development programs, “empowerment” is used interchangeably with youth activism, leadership, civic participation and self-efficacy. However, few studies have captured what empowerment means to young people in diverse contexts. This article explores how youth define and experience empowerment in youth-led organizations characterized by social justice goals: high school Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). …

  3. Making the invisible visible: gay and lesbian issues in early childhood education

    This article, based on empirical qualitative data gained from a survey and interviews with a group of early childhood educators, argues for the inclusion of sexual differences, or more specifically, gay and lesbian equity issues, in approaches to anti-bias. The article examines the discourses that prevail in the field, that perpetuate the perceived irrelevance, invisibility and exclusion of lesbian and gay issues in early childhood settings and education generally. …

  4. The impact of belonging to a High School Gay/Straight Alliance

    This qualitative investigation studies the impact of belonging to a high school Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA or Alliance) on the lives of seven students. Individual and focus group interviews were conducted over a two-year time period. The author used voices of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and straight students to relate the experiences unique to each participant. In addition, data from media and spoken transcripts, video tapes of news reports, grade records, and the GSA advisor's personal observations were analyzed and organized into a framework of seven categories of impact. …

  5. Going beyond gay-straight alliances to make schools safe for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students

    Currently, the establishment of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSA) in schools is one of the most visible and widely adopted strategies for calling attention to and addressing the needs of LGBT students. …

  6. Heterosexism in high school and victimization among lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning students

    This study examined relationships between perceived heterosexism in high school policies and programs, social environments, and victimization rates among lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning (LGBQ) students. Secondary analyses of Internet survey data from a large cohort of LGBQ students (N = 2037; 76% male, 82% White; mean age = 16.07; 56% gay or lesbian; 28% bisexual; 16% questioning) yielded moderate correlations between perceptions of non-discrimination and harassment policies, inclusive programs, and the prevalence and tolerance of anti-LGBQ harassment. …

  7. School reform efforts for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students

    Recent efforts of school personnel across the country to implement a variety of initiatives aimed at providing safe and tolerant learning environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) students have resulted in inclusion of homosexual identities in school curricula, identification of positive role models, counseling programs, and support groups. However, antigay attitudes and actions of students and teachers continue to persist. …

  8. Working with transgender children and their classmates in pre-adolescence: Just be supportive

    This study documents a school district’s coordinated response to an elementary student’s social transition from a gender variant boy to a female gender expression. Data were gathered through analysis of journal entries, lesson plans, and interviews with the child, guardian, and district personnel. Stakeholders reported a favorable outlook on the transition, particularly in the areas of classroom and school interventions, peer involvement, and maintaining safety for all. The greatest concerns related to communication and language. …

  9. Embracing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youth in school-based settings

    Youth with invisible challenges constitute a special area of concern for child and youth care workers. Youth struggling with gender and sexual orientation are reported to comprise ten percent of our youth population yet they may often be unknown to teachers and other school personnel. These adolescents face unique challenges in developing their identity and gaining social acceptance. This paper explores the challenges faced by these youth, the consequences of underserving this population and proposes some strategies for improving their educational experience.

  10. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths' perception of their high school environments and comfort in school

    This study investigated gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents' perceptions of their school environment, their experiences with victimization and professional support in school, and individual, peer, and family factors associated with their perceptions of and comfort in their school environments. Data were gathered from 136 self-identified gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students in northern New England. …

  11. Negotiating a research protocol for studying school-based gay and lesbian issues

    The nature of public schooling, particularly at the early and middle childhood levels, makes designing critical qualitative studies around gay and lesbian issues in the school context problematic at best. This article provides a retrospective dialogue between an associate professor and her then Ph.D. candidate advisee that reflects on the tension created as they negotiated through the pitfalls and problems inherent in developing a workable proposal for a gay/lesbian school-based study. …

  12. Sexual orientation and bullying among adolescents in the Growing Up Today Study

    Purpose - To examine the relationship between sexual orientation and past-year reports of bullying victimization and perpetration in a large sample of American youth. Methods - Survey data from 7,559 adolescents aged 14 to 22 who responded to the 2001 wave questionnaire of the Growing Up Today Study were examined cross-sectionally. Multivariable generalized estimating equations regression was performed using the modified Poisson method. …

  13. Effects of homophobic versus nonhomophobic victimization on school commitment and the moderating effect of teacher attitudes in Brazilian public schools

    This study investigated homophobic victimization, teacher support, and school commitment in Brazilian schools. Participants were 339 students, ages 11 to 18, in two public schools in Brazil. Data were obtained using the Brazil Preventing School Harassment Survey. Structural equation modeling revealed that both homophobic and nonhomophobic victimization were negatively related to school commitment but that homophobic victimization was a stronger predictor. Results supported the hypothesis that supportive teachers can moderate the relationship between victimization and school commitment. …

  14. Teach to reach: addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth issues in the classroom

    This article explores the delicate and complex issues immediate to the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. The author places the discussion within the context of learning environments and presents ways in which pre-service and in-service teachers can help create safe and equitable spaces for all learners. Presented are various classroom strategies, activities, and resources for educators to tap into and utilize.

  15. Bullying of lesbian and gay youth: a qualitative investigation

    The preponderance of bullying research does not address sexual orientation as a possible factor. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of service providers and youth advocates working with lesbian and gay communities in order to increase understanding of bullying of lesbian and gay youth. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine key informants from various education and social service settings. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive data analysis was conducted using a constant comparative method. …

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