Safe Schools & Youth

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    Transgender Students in Higher Education

    Abbie E. Goldberg
    August 2018

    Transgender-inclusive policies on campus give transgender students a greater sense of belonging and more positive perceptions of the academic environment.

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    Scholars File Comment on National Crime Victimization Survey Changes

    On May 11, 2018, Williams Institute scholars filed a comment to the US Department of Justice regarding their proposal to stop asking 16- and 17-year-olds to voluntarily and confidentially disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity on the survey.

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    Gender expression, violence and bullying victimization

    Allegra R. Gordon, Kerith J. Conron, Jerel P. Calzo, Matthew T. White, Sari L. Reisner, S. Bryn Austin
    March 2018

    A new study investigating gender expression and victimization of youth ages 13-18 found that the most gender nonconforming students reported higher levels of being bullied and were more likely to report missing school because they felt unsafe.

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    Conversion Therapy and LGBT Youth

    Christy Mallory, Taylor N.T. Brown, Kerith J. Conron
    January 2018

    The first estimates on LGBT youth at risk of conversion therapy find that 20,000 teens ages 13 to 17 will receive the treatment from a healthcare professional before they turn 18. Also, approximately 57,000 will undergo conversion therapy by a religious or spiritual advisor.

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    Characteristics and Mental Health of Gender Nonconforming Adolescents in California

    Bianca D.M. Wilson, Soon Kyu Choi, Jody Herman, Tara Becker, Kerith Conron
    December 2017

    A new report provides the first look at data collected from the California Health Interview Survey, which for the first time measured gender expression and mental health indicators among California’s youth population.

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    LGBTQ Youth in California Public Schools: Differences Across the State

    Soon Kyu Choi, Bianca D.M. Wilson
    October 2017

    LGBTQ youth in California experience less connection to their school, poorer academic outcomes and more frequent victimization than their non-LGBTQ peers. A new report by the Williams Institute explored disparities in school experiences, school performance and well-being of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ youth in California, as well as disparities between LGBTQ youth in rural and urban areas in the state.

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    LGBQ Youth Disproportionately Incarcerated in the U.S. Juvenile Justice System

    Bianca D.M. Wilson, Ph.D., Sid P. Jordan, J.D., Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D., Andrew R. Flores, Ph.D., Lara Stemple, J.D., and Jody L. Herman, Ph.D.
    April 2017

    Researchers consider the extent to which sexual minority youth are disproportionately incarcerated in the U.S. juvenile detention system and whether sexual minority youth are incarcerated for longer periods than heterosexual youth. The study also considers the prevalence of sexual victimization while in custody for sexual minority youth compared to their heterosexual peers of the same gender. Sexual minority youth include those that identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, as well as those that identified as mostly straight but had some attraction to the same sex.

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    There are Over 75,000 LGBT DREAMers; 36,000 Have Participated in DACA

    Kerith Conron and Taylor N.T. Brown, February 2017

    The Williams Institute estimates that there are over 75,000 LGBT DREAMers in the U.S. and over 36,000 have participated in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including 24,000 who renewed in the program. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16, and met other requirements, temporary work authorization and protection from deportation for a renewable two-year period.

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    Surveying LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care: Lessons from Los Angeles 

    Bianca D.M. Wilson, Khush Cooper, Angel Kastanis, and Soon Kyu Choi, November 2016

    This report describes the methodology used in a 2014 Williams Institute study on sexual and gender minority youth in the Los Angeles County foster care system . The 2014 study surveyed youth in foster care about their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, other demographic characteristics, and experiences in foster care. In this methods report about the 2014 study, researchers describe the study design and process, share their survey instrument and recommended questions, and review lessons learned from their experience.

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    The Fiscal Impact of North Carolina’s HB2

    By Christy Mallory and Brad Sears
    May 2016

    North Carolina’s law restricting access to restrooms based on sex listed on an individual’s birth certificate impacts an estimated 37,800 transgender people in the state, and puts at risk $4.8 billion in federal funding to state and local government entities. The law is in conflict with the gender identity non-discrimination requirements under several federal laws including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Executive Order 13672, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Equal Access Rule, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Federal agencies that enforce the laws are authorized to suspend or terminate funding if recipients violate the non-discrimination requirements.

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    Same-Sex and Different-Sex Parent Households and Child Health Outcomes: Findings from the National Survey of Children’s Health

    By Henny M.W. Bos, Justin R. Knox, Loes van Rijn-van Gelderen, and Nanette Gartrell
    April 2016

    Using the 2011–2012 National Survey of Children’s Health data set, this report compares spouse/partner relationships and parent-child relationships (family relationships), parenting stress, and children’s general health, emotional difficulties, coping behavior, and learning behavior (child outcomes) in households of same-sex (female) versus different-sex continuously coupled parents with biological offspring. Children with female same-sex parents and different-sex parents demonstrated no differences in outcomes, despite female same-sex parents reporting more parenting stress. Future studies may reveal the sources of this parenting stress.

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    Serving Our Youth 2015: The Needs and Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth Experiencing Homelessness

    By Soon Kyu Choi, Bianca D.M. Wilson, Jama Shelton and Gary Gates
    June 2015

    This report reviews responses from providers of homeless youth services about their experiences working with LGBTQ youth. Homelessness service providers estimate that sexual and gender minority youth are over-represented among those experiencing homelessness, have been homeless longer and face more mental and physical health problems. Providers were more likely to report that transgender youth experienced these problems at higher rates than other youth.

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    Human Services for Low-Income and At-Risk LGBT Populations: An Assessment of the Knowledge Base and Research Needs

    By Andrew Burwick, Gary Gates, Scott Baumgartner, Daniel Friend
    December 2014

    This report discusses what is known about low-income and at-risk LGBT people and their interactions with human services, especially services funded by ACF, and identifies important areas for further research. To provide context for the needs assessment findings, the assessment begins by describing the scope and estimated size of the LGBT population in the United States as well as factors that may contribute to social and economic disadvantages for LGBT people. The assessment then presents the framework and methods for the needs assessment and ultimately recommends potential areas for future research to enhance the knowledge base surrounding the human service needs of low-income and at-risk LGBT populations.

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    Dutch Adolescents from Lesbian-Parent Families: How Do They Compare to Peers with Heterosexual Parents and What is the Impact of Homophobic Stigmatization?

    By Loes van Rijn-van Gelderen, Henry M.W. Bos, Nanette K. Gartrell
    February 2015

    Dutch adolescents with lesbian parents do not show any more problem behavior than those with heterosexual parents. Yet even though in 2001 the Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage, some adolescents in this study reported being stigmatized for having lesbian mothers. The more homophobic stigmatization they faced, the more problem behavior they showed.

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    New Report: Sexual and Gender Minority Youth in Foster Care

    By Bianca D.M. Wilson, Khush Cooper, Angel Kastanis, Sheila Nezhad
    August 2014

    LGBTQ foster youth are twice as likely to report poor treatment and more likely to live in group homes and to have more foster care placements. Approximately 1 in 5, or 1,400 foster youth in Los Angeles County, home to the nation’s largest population of foster youth, identify as LGBTQ. The finding is twice the estimated percentage of youth not in foster care who are LGBTQ. Over 86% of foster youth in Los Angeles are Latino, Black, or API.

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    Mental Health and Suicidality Among Racially/Ethnically Diverse Sexual Minority Youths

    By Wendy B. Bostwick, Ilan Meyer, et al.
    July 2014

    Sexual minority youth had higher prevalence than heterosexual youth of each of the six outcomes studied, including self-harm, feeling sad, and suicide ideation, planning, and attempts. The study shows that 22.8 percent of sexual minority youth compared with 6.6 percent of heterosexual youth had attempted suicide in the year prior to being surveyed. Notably, the odds of suicide ideation, planning, and attempt among sexual minority youth varied by race/ethnicity.

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    Protective School Climates and Reduced Risk for Suicide Ideation in Sexual Minority Youth

    By Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Michelle Birkett, Aimee Van Wagenen, Ilan H. Meyer
    April 2014

    Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth living in states and cities with more protective school climates are significantly less likely to report one-year suicidal thoughts than LGB youths living in states and cities with less protective school climates. Of schools in eight national cities and states, about half provided Gay-Straight Alliances and LGBT inclusive health curricula, and almost all provided anti-bullying policies prohibiting harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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    Preschool selection considerations and experiences of school mistreatment among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parents

    By Abbie E. Goldberg, JuliAnna Z. Smith
    March 2014

    Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual parents of preschoolers may be particularly sensitive to family, racial and sexual diversity issues as they evaluate and select preschools for their children. Additionally, heterosexual adoptive parent families may be especially sensitive to adoption-related stigma and exclusion. Early childhood educators should recognize the growing diversity of contemporary families and consider adoption, family structure, and race as important components of curriculum development.

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    Lesbian and Heterosexual Two-Parent Families: Adolescent-Parent Relationship Quality and Adolescent Well-being

    By Henny M.W. Bos, Loes van Gelderen, Nanette Gartrell
    February 2014

    Adolescents with continuously-coupled lesbian mothers had higher self-esteem and fewer conduct problems (such as rule-breaking, vandalism, or getting into fights ) than adolescents with continuously-coupled heterosexual parents. Across other indicators of psychological adjustment, substance usage, and relationships with their parents, the study found that adolescents from intact two-mother lesbian families were comparable to those from intact mother-father families.

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    Identifying and Serving LGBTQ Youth: Case Studies of Runaway and Homeless Youth Grantees

    By Andrew Burwick, Vanessa Oddo, Laura Durso, Daniel Friend, Gary Gates
    February 2014

    A study published by Mathematica and co-authored by the Williams Institute examines services for LGBTQ runaway and homeless youth (RHY). Focusing on four local agencies receiving grants from the Administration for Children and Families’ RHY Program, it aimed to learn about programs’ strategies for identifying and serving LGBTQ RHY, the challenges programs face in understanding and addressing the needs of this population, and potential areas for future research.

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