This article, "Who, What, Where, When, and Why: Demographic and Ecological Factors Contributing to Hostile School Climate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth," examines how regional, community-level and school-district level variables relate to hostile school climates for LGBT youth.
The article reveals that youth in rural and impoverished areas face increased levels of bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
GLSEN located survey participants through community-based groups serving LGBT youth and via the Internet. The sample consisted of a total of 6,209 LGBT K-12 students, from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, between the ages of 13 and 21.
Some of the major findings include:
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Although there were high incidences of victimization of LGBT youth irrespective of region or locale, for LGBT youth, schools in rural communities were the more unsafe than schools in urban or suburban areas.
LGBT youth in higher poverty communities reported more victimization in school because of sexual orientation and gender expression than those in more affluent communities. Yet, they were less likely to hear homophobic remarks - both homophobic epithets and remarks using "gay" in a derogatory manner.
LGBT youth in communities with a higher proportion of college graduates were less likely to hear homophobic remarks or experience victimization based on sexual orientation.
Regional differences in tolerance and acceptance levels appear to be related to other community-level factors, such as educational attainment and income.
Who, What, Where, When, and Why: Demographic and Ecological Factors Contributing to Hostile School Climate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth