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Queer teens more likely to be punished

Tue 7 Dec 2010 In: International News

A study by Yale researchers has found lesbian, gay and bisexual American teenagers are about 40 percent more likely than other young people to be punished by school authorities, police, and the courts. Researchers followed about 15,000 middle and high school students for seven years. "We found that virtually all types of punishment - including school expulsions, arrests, juvenile convictions, adult convictions and especially police stops - were more frequently meted out to LGB youth," said lead author Kathryn Himmelstein. Lesbian and bisexual girls were especially at risk for unequal treatment, Himmelstein said. "They reported experiencing twice as many police stops, arrests and convictions as other girls who had engaged in similar behaviour," she said in the statement. Himmelstein says it's unlikely to be because gay, lesbian and bi students are more likely to misbehave. She says the study showed that disparities in punishment could not be explained by differences in the rates of misbehaviour – it actually showed that gay teens are less likely to engage in violent behavior than their straight peers.    

Credit: GayNZ.com daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 7th December 2010 - 12:03pm

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