Ritch Savin-Williams, professor of human development and director of the Sex and Gender Lab at Cornell University, comments on a new seven-year study published in today’s Pediatrics (http://bit.ly/VF8LR5) finding that lesbian, gay and bisexual teens face less bullying as they reach 18 to 20 years of age.
“Yes, it does get better. But any developmental psychologist would say that bullying decreases through adolescence to young adulthood, which means that the real work needs to be done in middle and high school instead of waiting until college. This is why I’m not happy with the ‘wait until you’re out of school’ approach.
“It is noteworthy that gay and bisexual boys appear in the study to be no different in the proportion who receive bullying than straight girls at the older age. If this is due to socialization or self-reporting style, there is no reason to compare the bullying of gay boys to straight boys, as their friends and reporting styles are feminine.
“There is evidence from other research that levels of homophobia might be quite different between the U.K. – where the study took place - and the U.S. Mark McCormack’s recent book reveals a level of gay acceptance among straight guys that would be the envy of us here in the U.S.”
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