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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Invited commentary: Broadening the evidence for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and education in the United States

    Scientific research has made major contributions to adolescent health by providing insights into factors that influence it and by defining ways to improve it. However, US adolescent sexual and reproductive health policies-particularly sexuality health education policies and programs-have not benefited from the full scope of scientific understanding. From 1998 to 2009, federal funding for sexuality education focused almost exclusively on ineffective and scientifically inaccurate abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs. …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. School culture and the well-being of same-sex attracted youth

    This study assesses how variations in heteronormative culture in high schools affect the well-being of same-sex-attracted youth. The authors focus on the stigmatization of same-sex attraction (rather than identity or behavior) to better understand how heteronormativity may marginalize a wide range of youth. …

  7. 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. …

  8. 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. …

  9. 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.

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. Perceptions of rural school staff regarding sexual minority students

    Sexual minority students often do not feel safe in school, especially in rural communities, and changes are needed within school environments in order to provide a safe and effective learning environment for all students. Prior to implementing school change, an investigation into the perceptions of educators in public schools in three rural New York counties was conducted. Results indicated that respondents, especially teachers, viewed sexual minority students significantly less favorably than other minority groups. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Queer research and queer youth

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

  15. 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. …

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