LGBT youth at higher risk for abusive relationships

rainbow flag in the darkBY ERIN HIGGINS
dot429

According to a study by the Urban Institute, LGBT adolescents are more likely to experience abusive relationships than their straight peers. Dating Violence Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth is one of the first studies of its kind in that it focuses on dating abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Specifically, higher percentages of LGB youth reported being victimized by physical dating violence (43 percent), psychological dating abuse (59 percent), cyber dating abuse (37 percent), and sexual coercion (23 percent), than did heterosexual youth, who reported rates of 29, 46, 26, and 12 percent, respectively. Similarly, higher percentages of LGB than heterosexual youth reported perpetrating physical dating violence (33 percent), psychological dating abuse (37 percent), cyber dating abuse (18 percent), and sexual coercion (4 percent); by contrast, among heterosexual youth the rates were 20, 25, 12, and 2 percent, respectively.  While only eighteen transgender youth participated in the survey, they had the highest rate of abuse.

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