Harassment of Gay and Lesbian Youth and School Violence in America

Stacey S. Horn and Larry Nucci

in International Perspectives on Youth Conflict and Development

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195178425
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199958528 | DOI:
Harassment of Gay and Lesbian Youth and School Violence in America

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This chapter reviews literature on the rates and impact of harassment and violence against gay and lesbian youth in schools across several contexts as a foundation for proposing a new theoretical framework for understanding how high school-aged youth understand sexual identity. From the perspective of domain theory, it presents results of research on young people's reasoning about homosexuality, and their treatment of their gay and lesbian peers. This theory-based analysis reveals intriguing complexities, such as young people's prejudice and intolerance toward gay or lesbian peers when they believe that individuals have control over whether they are gay or lesbian, but more accepting and tolerant attitudes regarding homosexuality when they believe people are born gay or lesbian, thus placing sexual orientation beyond the individual's control or moral culpability. The chapter also suggests future directions for research and practice to promote tolerance and development around issues of sexual identity.

Keywords: gay youth; lesbian youth; homosexual youth; homosexuality; youth conflict; youth violence; sexual identity; tolerance

Chapter.  8135 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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