LGBTQ+ teens less happy than heterosexual peers
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer teenagers are more unhappy than their heterosexual peers. They are also twice as likely to be bullied and twice as likely to have mental health problems, the social and cultural planning office SCP reported on Friday. The SCP researched the well-being, social relationship, and lifestyle of LGBTQ+ teens between 11 and 16, NU.nl reports.
The fact that LGBTQ+ teens are more unhappy is partly due to them having less good relationships with their classmates and teachers, according to the researchers. This bond is worse for ethnic minority LGBTQ+ teenagers, who also experience less support from family and friends.
The researchers found that LGBTQ+ teens are also more likely to be overweight and have trouble sleeping, translating into concentration problems and depression. LGBTQ+ teens experience less support at home and school than heterosexual young people.
According to the researchers, LGBTQ+ young people exhibit riskier behavior on social media. The researchers think they may seek support online that they don't find in their offline environment. On the downside, this also means they have to deal with bullying and fights online.
The welfare problems LGBTQ+ teenagers experience can also have consequences for their school and work careers in the future, the researchers said. Therefore, teachers, school leaders, youth workers, sports coaches, and care providers have a duty to make sure these kids feel like they belong.
Today, the second Friday in December, is Purple Friday in the Netherlands. Throughout the country, school kids will dress in purple to support their LGBTQ+ peers.