The Effects of Discrimination Young teens that belongs to a minority sexual orientation, (gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender) may experience discrimination by their peers at school, in the workplace, or even at home (Benibgui, 2011; Mays, 2008; Saewyc, 2001). This discrimination can have major effects on teens that are detrimental, and sometimes these effects can tragically become fatal. The findings used to draw these conclusions gave different key elements. They helped determine different places teens experience discrimination, and different negative effects the discrimination has on the teens.
By taking all the findings and integrating them together, the negative effects of stigma towards gay students become apparent. Students that belong to minority sexual orientations can be harassed by different people throughout their lives (Benibgui, 2011; Mays, 2008; Saewyc, 2001). According to a study that linked enacted stigma and negative effects of students in British Columbia, students who experience harassment by peers in a school setting are more likely to report skipping school (Homma, Poon, Saewyc, & Skay, 2001).
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Unfortunately, the negative effects of discrimination do not stop at just skipping school, and school is not the only place students can get harassed. Young teens can also get discriminated against in a work environment as well. According to a study that measures mental health stability amongst discriminated gay teens, more homosexual and bisexual people reported being fired unfairly from a job because of sexual orientation discrimination (Mays, 2008).
This finding supports the idea that authority figures such as bosses can discriminate, not only peers around the same age group. Also contributing to the idea of authority figures discriminating, an article involving research done at Concordia University adds to the numerous discriminating environments by adding that LGBT youth who felt discriminated against at home showed more symptoms of depression than heterosexual youth (Benibgui, 2011).
Not only does this finding open the portal to one of many negative effects of discrimination, it also shows that some LGBT youth are discriminated against in their own homes. This can come off as a shock because many people think of their homes as a sort of safe haven where they can go for comfort. Escaping discrimination for a LGBT youth can be difficult because authority figures can discriminate against them, as well as peers (Benibgui, 2011; Mays, 2008; Saewyc, 2001).
The emotional effects discrimination has on young teens can cause them to take their frustrations out on themselves and sometimes it can have serious outcomes (Benibgui, 2011; Mays, 2008; Saewyc, 2001). In a study conducted that linked teen pregnancy to stigma in LGBT teens, it was found that students involved in teen pregnancy are more than 2 times more likely to report discrimination due to their sexual orientation (Saewyc, et al. , 2001). Unfortunately, teen pregnancy is not the only negative effect discrimination has on teens.
In Mays’ study of the correlation between mental health and discrimination among LGBT adults, homosexual and bisexual individuals that reported discrimination showed more signs of psychiatric morbidity than heterosexual individuals, and were also more likely to have a mental disorder, and self-report feelings of poor mental health. (Mays, 2008). These findings tie into the research done at Concordia University, where it was found that suicide rates are 14 times higher among lesbian, gay, and bisexual students, along with increased depression and anxiety (Benibgui, 2011).
The content of each article used, including the popular press article, agree with their findings. The popular press article used from Concordia University supported the ideas shown in each of the research articles. The discrimination has very negative and life changing effects on homosexual or bisexual individuals. Whether they are discriminated in school, at work, or even in their own homes, the effects of this harassment and discrimination are enough to alter their mental states, their emotional stability, and sometimes even their fate (Benibgui, 2011; Mays, 2008; Saewyc, 2001).
Until this discrimination stops, some LGBT teens may never feel completely comfortable with themselves. As far as what is being done to prevent these tragic results, schools are organizing support groups, anti-bullying seminars, and are cracking down on toleration of harassment. Hopefully, the outcome of these steps will be comfort and acceptance of homosexual, bisexual, and transgender teens. References Saewyc, E. M. , Poon, C. S. , Homma, Y. , ; Skay, C. L. (2001).
The links between enacted stigma and teen pregnancy trends among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in British Columbia. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 17(3), 124, 132. Mays, V. M. , ; Cochran, S. D. (2001). Mental health correlates of perceived discrimination among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 91(11), 1872- 1873. Benibgui, M. (2011, February 2). Physiological impacts of homophobia [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www. sciencedaily. com/releases/2011/02/11020211