Here is some more disheartening news in the LGBT youth arena. A new study has been released that gay youth are punished harsher than their straight peers in all facets of society. The only only positive about the sudden influx of these studies and statistics is the fact that LGBT youth issues are coming to light. The more we know, the sooner things can change.
From The Washington Post: "Gay and lesbian teens in the United States are about 40 percent more likely than their straight peers to be punished by schools, police and the courts, according to a study published Monday, which finds that girls are especially at risk for unequal treatment.
The research, described as the first national look at sexual orientation and teen punishment, comes as a spate of high-profile bullying and suicide cases across the country have focused attention on the sometimes hidden cruelties of teen life.
The study, from Yale University, adds another layer, finding substantial disparities between gay and straight teens in school expulsions, arrests, convictions and police stops. The harsher approach is not explained by differences in misconduct, the study says.
"The most striking difference was for lesbian and bisexual girls, and they were two to three times as likely as girls with similar behavior to be punished," said Kathryn Himmelstein, lead author of the study, published in the journal Pediatrics.
Why the punishment gap exists is less clear.
It could be that lesbian, gay and bisexual teens who got in trouble didn't get the same breaks as other teens - say, for youthful age or self-defense, Himmelstein said. Or it could be that girls in particular were punished more often because of discomfort with or bias toward some who don't fit stereotypes of femininity.
"It's definitely troubling to see such a disparity," Himmelstein said.
"It may very well be not intentional," she said. "I think most people who work with youth want to do the best they can for young people and treat them fairly, but our findings show that's not happening.""