Sexual Identity and Bullying

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Story Updated: Feb 5, 2013

..it's not always the "best days" of their lives. But it can be especially challenging for gay, lesbian and bisexual teens.

So researchers wanted to know if it gets better for this group after high school. Using data collected from more than 4-thousand teens between 2004 and 2010, the team looked at how rates of bullying changed as the teens got older, and what effect bullying has on their emotions.

Compared to their heterosexual peers, LGB boys and girls were about twice as likely to be bullied throughout high school. But generally...the bullying for girls declined significantly as they left high school. 57 percent of lesbian or bisexual girls reported being bullied at age 13 or 14, compared to 6 percent at age 19 or 20.

Among boys, the bullying declined from 52 percent in the early teen years to 9 percent at 19 or 20...BUT the likelihood of still being bullied actually increased after high school when compared to straight boys. LGB males and females had significantly higher levels of emotional distress than their heterosexual-identified peers.

Researchers say these findings show how critical it is to address LGB victimization during adolescence.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news for you and your family.

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