Alex Blaze

GSA's improve the school environment for LGBT youth

Filed By Alex Blaze | September 12, 2007 5:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: GLSEN, GSA, report

A new report on the measurable effects of Gay-Straight Alliances at public high schools has just been released by GLSEN. The numbers were compiled from several other studies conducted over the last few years. some of the interesting facts are:

  • Students in schools with GSAs are less likely to hear homophobic remarks in school on a daily basis than students in schools without a GSA (57% compared to 75%).
  • Sexual minority youth in Massachusetts schools with GSA's were half as likely as those in schools without a GSA to report experiencing dating violence, being threatened or injured at school, or missing school because they were afraid to go.
  • Students in schools with GSAs or similar student clubs are two times more likely than students without such clubs to say they hear teachers at their school make supportive or positive remarks about lesbian and gay people (24% compared to 12%).
  • In a national survey of secondary school students, less than one quarter (22%) of all LGBT and non- LGBT students report that their school has a GSA or another type of student club that addresses LGBT students’ issues.

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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 13, 2007 12:05 AM

GLSEN does amazing work to improve the lives of LGBT students. They deserve more support from LGBT donors.

Even more amazing is the work that young people are doing to help themselves and others like them. Youth are coming out at increasingly young ages and their courage should be applauded.

I wonder whether it’s possible that GSAs are just more likely to form in schools where homophobic remarks are heard less often and there are more supportive teachers and administrators. I couldn’t find any discussion of causation in a quick reading of the link you provided, but I may have missed it or it was addressed in the underlying reports from which these statistics were pulled.