LONDON — New research by the University of Cambridge for British gay rights charity Stonewall UK’s School Report 2012 found that 55 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils in Britain’s secondary schools experience homophobic bullying.
The research, based on a national survey of 1,614 young people, also found that nearly a quarter (23 percent) of gay youth have have attempted suicide, and more than half have (56 percent) deliberately harmed themselves.
The study also revealed that 99 percent of gay youth are subjected to homophobic language – comments such as “that’s so gay” and “you’re so gay” — and that a quarter of gay young people, rising to over a third in faith schools, report that teachers never challenge homophobic language.
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In schools where teaching staff never challenge homophobic remarks, the rate of homophobic bullying is far higher than in schools where such language is always challenged (71 percent compared to 43 percent).
“It’s unacceptable that over half of gay young people face a daily nightmare of homophobic bullying, and deeply worrying that many schools and teachers still fail to challenge it effectively,” said Stonewall UK’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill.
The release of the report is essentially an update to the charity’s 2007 School Report, which found that nearly two thirds of young people were victims of anti-gay bullying.
The School Report 2012 can be downloaded here.