The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) has released a new study that takes a look at the experiences of LGBT youth online. The study highlights the high level of bullying and harassment online, and at a much higher level than thought.
These are a few of the findings on cyberbullying:
Those that have been harassed have significantly lower grades in school, mental health issues and low self-esteem, this included both in-person and online bullying. Studies found that cyberbullying is both prevalent and pervasive among LGBT youth. In a 2011 poll over half of the young people encountered discriminatory language online, and most did not believe that biased slurs as being offensive or didn't know of their impact on LGBT youth.
The study also looked at the time LGBT youth spend online:
In a 2011 GLSEN's climate survey they found that 82% of LGBT youth still face verbal harassment. This revealed that LGBT youth are still vulnerable at school, at home and online. Online resources are extremely valuable to those in communities that don't have support networks or communities. It is essential that the safety of LGBT youth be addressed by community leaders, school officials, and politicians, but the conversation needs to start at home or between the youth and adults.