LGBT Student Bullying in Schools

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 8
Words: 2320
Reading time:
9 min
Study level: Bachelor

Introduction

LGBTQ individuals face a distinct set of challenges: discrimination, social stigma, and often rejection from family members, resulting in mental and physical strains. Based on recent statistics, there is a longstanding trend showing that LGBTQ members are four times likely to face violence in their lives compared to their straight counterparts (Heinze, 2021). According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there was an increase in higher police brutality, hate crimes, harassment, and regular denial of the right to exist and humanity. With the increase in the discrimination against LGBTQ members, gay, gender nonconforming, and transgender youths are significantly over-represented, 300,000 in the juvenile systems (Hunt & Moodie-Mills, 2012). Further, compared to ethnic minority groups, like Blacks and Hispanics, the number is 60 percent more, and the increase is attributed to school victimization, community and family abandonment (Hunt & Moodie-Mills, 2012). Additionally, through discrimination, the lives of LGBTQ members are endangered by denials and delays of necessary medical care.

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LGBTQ members throughout the U.S. continue to encounter pervasive discriminations that have negative impacts on every aspect of their lives. With it, identical with every other form of discrimination like sexism and racism, LGBTQ has been a subject of social injustice, taking place in various social institutions, including schools. School violence of sexual minority youths is often accompanied by severe stereotypes of gender expression and cissexism, making LGBTQ youth subject to specific pressures related to their identity (Stephen and Jessica 2016:n.p.). In an environment where bullying exists, children become the perpetrators of the violent crimes involved (Rosen and Stacey 2019). Thousands of students are victims of bullying, and worse, almost three-quarters of those victims are LGBT students. Among these adolescents, they had more experience than students of normal sexual orientation (Allen 2014). LGBT teenagers bullied in school result in painful experiences based on severe adverse outcomes; the effects of bullying in adolescence may remain with them for life. LGBTQ members have no option but to defend the existing policies the best way they can.

Social injustice in LGBT Members

Upholding social justice entails addressing and eradicating social injustices. In contrast, social justice is proper and fair law administration in conformity to the natural law covering every individual regardless of origin, religion, possession, or gender. Based on the 2017 Census Bureau, the aging American population constituted approximately 15 percent of the entire population, and the number was steadily rising. Jones (2021) showed that from the 5.6 percent with a majority LGBTQ members in the U.S. have been subjects of social injustice that appears in the form of non-existent or sub-standard health care. Far from being deprived of their right to quality health care, most of these members, from the category, are not insured and suffer violations of ethics like life quality and autonomy, safety, and dignity loss (Monica 2019). Gender-based discrimination and violence have been known to have chilling effects on LGBT people (Ferber et al. 2017). Even with the attempt to reform the social injustice within the population through health care reforms, specialized staff training, and nurse advocacy, the cracks in the healthcare system still render members of this population vulnerable.

Social injustice against LGBTQ members deters these patients from seeking care in the first place. Discrimination against LGBTQ patients plays a significant role in the number of LGBTQ members reaching out for health care services. In 2016, for example, Singh and Durso (2017) showed that 14 percent and 8 percent of those who experienced discrimination and all LGBTQ members declined seeking medical services due to their sexual orientation and gender identity (Singh & Durso, 2017). Further, 22percent of transgender patients reported having avoided seeking health care services while another 7 percent postponed medical assistance due to discrimination the same year (Singh & Durso, 2017).

With LGBTQ, there are many stereotypes, which results in marginalization, which has been linked to the inability to maintain a sense of self-esteem and identity among the LGBTQ members. Further, the most glaring injustice the stereotyped LGBTQ members face is substandard health care. The inability to afford private health care service fees, co-pays, and health care premiums subject the elderly to deprived access to these essential health care services. Due to poverty, LGBTQ members are denied fair and equal treatment for their well-being and health, violating the American Nursing Association’s (ANA) ethics code that mandates health disparity reduction. Based on ANA (2015), health care service provision is a universal right, and the right interrelates with human dignity, life quality, personal safety, and autonomy. Powell (2016) shows that disparities such as current and most pertinent medications, limited access to skilled health care practitioners, competitive medical technology, and processes are inconsistent with ANA’s universal right. Further, the general verbose and cryptic policies conglomeration for any minority groups, LGBTQ included, makes it challenging to comprehend and utilize.

The inequality and inaccessibility of health care among LGBTQ members have been compromised by what is perceived as autonomy and safety. According to Singh and Durso (2017), LGBTQ members are frequently making significant everyday life changes to avoid being discriminated against due to discrimination. Further, Singh and Durso (2017) show that in national representation, 25.2 percent of LGBTQ members have in one way or another experienced discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation in 2016. Among the people who encountered discrimination based on sexual orientation, 68.5 percent reported having negative psychological well-being due to the bias (Singh & Durso, 2017). Further, 43.7 percent reported negative physical well-being due to discrimination. Another 47.7 percent said negative spiritual well-being due to the bias (Singh & Durso, 2017). Lastly, 38.5, 52.8, and 56.6 percent reported hostile school environments, work environments, and neighborhood and community as outcomes of discrimination, respectively (Singh & Durso, 2017). The outcome has resulted in distrust, by LGBTQ members, to the society based on history.

As mentioned, Medicare constitutes a conglomerate containing verbose and cryptic policies that are difficult to comprehend and utilize among LGBTQ members. Repeatedly Medicare insurance fails to cover the full extent of the LGBT’s necessary treatment, or the elderly are forced to co-pay for a number of the essential visits needed to address their conditions. For impoverished and indigent Americans, Medicare’s $50 per visit pay is an expensive co-pay (Monicaa 2019). In a 2015 research by the Department of Housing and Human Services, Monica (2019:4) shows the report showed that tiny mandatory co-pay increments of $2 resulted in LGBTQ patients seeking less needed regular medical care. Some of these expenses become a burden to LGBTQ members since employment discrimination makes most of them unable to meet the costs.

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The Causes for Social Injustice Faced by the LGBTQ in the U.S.

The United States government has made significant and unprecedented progress in limiting LGBTQ discrimination throughout the last decade. Nonetheless, federal governments and most states in the country have no statutory non-discrimination laws that safeguard people based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. To date, members of the LGBTQ population continue to face widespread discrimination in the workplaces, 11-28 percent, while others report losing promotion based on their gender identity and sexual orientation (Singh & Durso, 2017). Another 27 percent reported being denied a promotion, not hired, or were fired by belonging to LGBTQ communities (Singh & Durso, 2017). Sometimes, discrimination against LGBTQ members results in denied access to education, losing their homes, and the inability to participate in public life.

Vulnerability to a public square: several outdated stereotypes exist about the LGBT, and isolation and marginalization come through them. Society’s mandate is to ensure that innovative ways are developed in how LGBTQ members are not discriminated against accessing public squares. Social events are a starting point where LGBQ members can receive assistance while maintaining a sense of self-esteem and identity in everything they do (Smithlife Homecare 2020). Further, through anti-transgender laws, society can minimize unprecedented transgender attacks in public squares, allowing LGBTQ members to participate in public life.

Financial insecurity: with the LGBTQ community, the most vulnerable ones reported unique high cases of avoidance behaviors. Specifically, LGBTQ people of color said their tendency to hide their gender identity and sexual orientation from their employers. Compared to 8 percent of their white counterparts, who removed items from their resumes, Blacks were represented by 12 percent. Similarly, 18.7 percent of LGBTQ members aged 18 and 24 years removed some information from their resumes for fear of not getting hired, compared to 7.9 percent in employees aged 35 and 44 years (Singh & Durso, 2017). In disabled LGBTQ members, 15.5 percent compared to 7.3 percent of non-disabled counterparts reported removing some information (Singh & Durso, 2017). The reports show that higher unemployment rates were associated with Blacks, young adults, and the disabled. The higher rates of unemployment resulting from LGBTQ-related sexual orientation and gender identity cases result in a higher prevalence of financial insecurity.

Access to health care services: for LGBTQ members, healthcare service access can be disjointed and complicated, particularly among those living with long-term health care complications. With chronic diseases, adequacy in care requires a variety of medical clinics and professionals who coordinate their efforts to deliver medication and associated care (Smithlife Homecare 2020). Therefore, it becomes relevant for caregivers to train towards providing resources and emotional support to deliver effective care.

Protection of LGBTQ Members In Learning Institutions

The American Psychological Association (APA) mission includes promoting just treatment and equitable treatment of every segment in society through public policy, training, and education. For a long time, APA has focused on addressing diversity issues. With LGBTQ being a critical element of diversity, education, practitioners, and researchers work to address the challenges of social injustice (Donna et al. 2019). LGBTQ, alongside other forms of diversity, often do not come to mind whenever cultural competence, human rights, health disparities, and prejudice and discrimination issues are under discussion.

By comprehending the differences and similarities between LGBTQ members and straight members, diversity among LGBTQ members should be included to increase multicultural competence and sensitivity. Ensuring federal civil rights laws explicitly safeguard LGBTQ members requires Congress to pass the Equality Act (Jones, 2021). Russell and Jessica illustrate the contextual factors that confirm the identities of LGBT youths comprising of school programs and policies, dating, family acceptance, and the willingness to come out and stay there. The rates of harassment and homophobic victimization are low in states that enumerate anti-bullying laws. Another protective mechanism that LGBT youths enjoy is associated with supportive GSA’s role in learning institutions. The intention through which the protective agents that safeguard LGBT students work is to minimize harassment and prejudice in learning environments (Russell and Jessica 2016). LGBT youths encounter fewer depressive symptoms, suicidal behaviors and thoughts, and substance abuse in such settings.

While widespread non-discrimination protection will not safeguard every discrimination instance, landlords, employers, or even school staff have a way of being held accountable for their actions against LGBTQ members. Furthermore, messages are sent that LGBTQ members are both respected and accepted by all government levels (Jones, 2021). Like their straight counterparts, LGBTQ members deserve equal opportunities to have authentic, matching, and entire lives (Jones, 2021). However, this will not be possible while the rates of discrimination are a looming threat to LGBTQ members and their families and while the discrimination is present in learning institutions.

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Solutions to the Issue

When it comes to health care discrimination against LGBTQ members, it becomes paramount that health care systems must advocate for these patients while upholding ethical standards for patient care. By implementing staff training, Powell (2016) shows that healthcare professionals recognize the disparities against LGBTQ members and employ social sensitivity to demonstrate cultural compassion to bridge the gap immensely. Adoptions of such system-wide training are fundamental in encouraging health professionals to promote LGBTQ members to utilize regular care, retain autonomy, and feel safe.

Making health care coverage available for all requires putting into effect broader changes to allow every patient, regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation, to have equal access to health care services. According to Powell (2016), trustworthy health care reform associates with making health care insurance attainable and affordable to every American since this would minimize possibilities of untimely deaths. More than half a million Americans suffer from diabetes and heart conditions, among other chronic complications, and possible and affordable health care for all would help prevent their untimely demise (Powell 2016). While the Obama Universal Healthcare program was on the right track, fine-tuning it upon its resurrection would guarantee the availability of healthcare for all.

Finally, talking about the issue in the context of the school environment, it is important to understand that a healthy and respectful approach towards LGB students must be promoted. Policies in the education environment like SOGI-inclusive anti-bullying and non-discrimination policies or laws associated with student adjustment and safety must be implied. Furthermore, institutions with similar approaches have been linked with providing foundations that facilitate school administrators, teachers, and associate personnel to develop environments that cater to the mentioned practices and policies (Russell and Jessica 2016). To a greater extent, interventions improvement relies on educators, who play an essential role in classroom curricula and training that should be all-inclusive to realize the promotion of LGB student well-being. Supporting LGBT issues in learning institutions is fundamental in individual, interpersonal interactions, and daily experiences.

Conclusion

With the involvement of nationwide public health departments, social justice for LGBTQ members is an achievable objective. By understanding and applying the proper and fair law administration (Jesuit values), the ANA standards, and advocating for strategic health care, it is possible to lift the social injustices faced by the marginalized old generation. With the understanding and application, it also becomes possible to ensure LGBTQ members no longer meet the challenges that lead to social injustices. Most LGBT youths develop into productive and healthy adults without any mental or physical disorders. Therefore, it is imperative to provide fundamental rights to every citizen and promote a positive approach towards LGBTQ people, especially in educational facilities.

References

American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Web.

Allen, Kimberly. 2014. “Addressing the issue: Bullying and LGBTQ youth.” Journal of Youth Development (9):40-46.

Berry, Keith. 2018. “LGBT bullying in school: A troubling relational story.” Communication Education 67(4):502-513.

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Donna M. Wilson, Begoña Errasti-Ibarrondo, & Gail Low. 2019. Where are we now in relation to determining the prevalence of ageism in this era of escalating population ageing? Ageing Research Reviews; 51: 78.

Ferber, Abby L., Kimberly Holcomb, and Tre Wentling. 2017. “Am I Obsessed?” Pp.281-286 in Sex, gender, and sexuality: The new basics: An anthology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press

Heinz, J. L. (2021). Fact sheet on injustice in the LGBTQ community. Web.

Hunt, J., Moodie-Mills, A., & Center for American Progress 1333 H Street NW 10th Floor Washington DC 20005. (2012). Unfair Criminalization of Gay and Transgender Youth: An Overview of the Experiences of LGBT Youth in the Juvenile Justice System. United States of America.

Jones, J. M. (2021). LGBT identification rises to 5.6% in latest U.S. estimate. Web.

Monica, Edlauer. 2019. “Social Injustice and the Elderly: The Impact of Low-Income Financial Status on Quality of Healthcare.”

Powell, A. 2016. The costs of inequality: Money = quality healthcare = longer life. Web.

Regis University Loretto Heights School of Nursing. (2018). 2018-2019 PreNSG/PreLicensure Student Resource Guide. 10-12. Web.

Rosen, Nicole L., Stacey Nofziger. 2019. “Boys, Bullying, and Gender Roles: How Hegemonic Masculinity Shapes Bullying Behavior.Gender Issues 36: 295-318. Web.

Singh, S, & Durso, L. E. (2017). Widespread discrimination continues to shape LGBT people’s lives in both subtle and significant ways. Web.

Smithlife Homecare. 2020. What are the Biggest Challenges for Elderly People in Our Society? Web.