Non-heterosexual young people are already at a higher risk of being bullied, abused within their families and succumbing to addiction, the researchers explain. Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein, BA, and Hannah Brückner, PhD set out to find out whether they were also victims of unfair criminal-justice and school sanctions.
They examined the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health which tracked a representative sample of young people in 1994-1995 from grades 7 to the end of 12. They also gathered information on a 2001-2002 follow-up.
Their definition of non-heterosexuality included people attracted to those of the same sex, same-sex romantic relationships, or LGB (lesbian, gay or bisexual) identification.
The investigators focused on six outcomes:
Non-heterosexual teenagers have a 38% higher risk of being stopped by the police.
It was already widely known that children bully non-heterosexual children. This study reveals how adults treat non-heterosexual children.
The authors stress (again) that the higher risk of punishment is not reflected in a greater participation of illegal actions or behaviors by non-heterosexual teenagers.
The authors concluded:
Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein, BA, Hannah Brückner, PhD
Written by Christian Nordqvist
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