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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The effect of negative school climate on academic outcomes for LGBT youth and the role of in-school supports

    For many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, intolerance and prejudice make school a hostile and dangerous place. This study examined simultaneously the effects of a negative school climate on achievement and the role that school-based supports—safe school policies, supportive school personnel, and gay–straight alliance (GSA) clubs—may have in offsetting these effects. Data were drawn from a survey of a diverse sample of 5,730 LGBT youths who had attended secondary schools in the United States. …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Effects of general and homophobic victimization on adolescents' psychosocial and educational concerns: the importance of intersecting identities and parent support

    Many adolescents experience peer victimization, which often can be homophobic. Applying the minority stress model with attention to intersecting social identities, this study tested the effects of general and homophobic victimization on several educational outcomes through suicidality and school belonging among 15,923 adolescents in Grades 7 through 12 on account of their sexual orientation and race/ethnicity. Parent support also was tested as a moderator of these effects. …

  7. This was my hell: the violence experienced by gender non-conforming youth in US high schools

    This paper explores the experiences of harassment and violence endured by seven gender nonconforming youth in US high schools. Based on a larger research project, it opens an inquiry into the school-based lives of gender-variant teens, a group heretofore ignored by most academics and educators. Breaking violence down into two main types (physical and sexual), this work uses informants' voices, along with 'doing gender' theory, to analyze the experiences of butch lesbian girls, trans teenagers, and genderqueer youth. …

  8. Queer research and queer youth

    This articles provides commentaries on researching lesbian, gay and bisexual youth.

  9. Social policy report: safe schools policy for LGBTQ students

    Two proposed U.S. federal laws would provide explicit protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) students in public schools. These federal laws follow actions by many states and school districts to define and implement laws or policies to protect the safety of LGBTQ students in schools. Research during the past decade has shown that LGBTQ youth are a vulnerable population, and that the negative school experiences of LGBTQ students often contribute to their vulnerability. …

  10. LGB and questioning students in schools: the moderating effects of homophobic bullying and school climate on negative outcomes

    Lesbian, gay, and bisexual students (LGB) and those questioning their sexual orientation are often at great risk for negative outcomes like depression, suicidality, drug use, and school difficulties. This study examined how school contextual factors such as homophobic victimization and school climate influence negative outcomes in LGB and questioning middle school students. Participants were 7,376 7th and 8th grade students from a large Midwestern county (50.7% Female, 72.7% White, 7.7% Biracial, 6.9% Black, 5.2% Asian, 3.7% Hispanic, and 2.2% reported "other"). …

  11. Meeting the needs of LGBTQ youth: a "relational assets" approach

    Drawing primarily on three case studies, this article proposes a framework that those concerned about the welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth can consider when developing, evaluating, or arguing for more effective programming: a relational assets approach. The relational assets approach merges the developmental assets framework outlined by adolescent development researchers and the voice-centered relational work of feminist psychologists. …

  12. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth with disabilities: a meta-synthesis

    This meta-synthesis of empirical and nonempirical literature analyzed 24 journal articles and book chapters that addressed the intersection of disability, [homo]sexuality, and gender identity/ expression in P-12 schools, colleges and universities, supported living programs, and other educational and social contexts in Australia, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. …

  13. Conversations in equity and social justice: constructing safe schools for queer youth

    The paper is a critique of discourse focused on at-risk behaviour and homophobic bullying. The paper argues that conversations around homophobic bullying must include discussions of doing equity and achieving social justice, in which the ultimate goal of constructing safe schools is achieved through the utter transformation of school culture. Failure to do anything less continues to license homophobia and makes predictable and inevitable violence against queer youth. …

  14. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth talk about experiencing and coping with school violence: a qualitative study

    This qualitative study used five focus groups of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth attending public high schools to examine their experiences with school violence. Core themes focused on lack of community and empowerment leading to youth being without a sense of human agency in school. Negative attention themes were indicative of the vulnerability that the youth felt at school. As principal means of coping, the LGBT youth escaped and avoided stressors by distancing themselves from school. …

  15. Protective factors in the lives of bisexual adolescents in North America

    We compared protective factors among bisexual adolescents with those of heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, and gay or lesbian adolescents. Methods. We analyzed 6 school-based surveys in Minnesota and British Columbia. Sexual orientation was measured by gender of sexual partners, attraction, or self-labeling. Protective factors included family connectedness, school connectedness, and religious involvement. General linear models, conducted separately by gender and adjusted for age, tested differences between orientation groups. …

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