STUDY: Bullying Does Decline Over Time For Gay Youth, But At Slower Rates

A new study on bullying among young people in England has found that it does, in fact, “get better” for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. The study followed over 4,100 teens over the course of seven years and measured the rates at which they were bullied. According to the findings,LGB youth experience higher levels of bullying at age 13–14 than their heterosexual peers, but those rates decline over time at similar rates. At age 18–20, only gay and bi boys still reported distinctly higher rates of bullying and harassment than their heterosexual peers:

The study also found that LGB youth show more emotional distress than heterosexual youth, but that could also be impacted by societal messages. The researchers posit that these results would be similar in the U.S. GLSEN’s studies suggest that bullying starts in elementary schools, escalates through middle school, and decline toward the end of high school, but the rates are problematically high across all age levels for LGB youth.