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24 Mar That college is seen as an open place of discovery for all, and women are more likely to report having same-sex attractions, it seems only natural that many ( Madeline Zima) on Heroes portray a somewhat real — minus the super powers — situation of two female roommates being attracted to one another. About 1/3 of the students identify themselves as queer, lesbian, bi, or transgendered -- but, while the stereotype of a big gay school isn't numerically accurate, there IS . Perhaps certain elements come from a small percentrage of the school 's population, but Smith gets more diverse each year (in terms of class, race, sexual. Explore Smith College reviews, rankings, and statistics. Is it the right college for Niche rankings are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics from the U.S. Department of Education and millions of reviews. Claim your free account to keep your college's data up-to-date and get insights on user activity for your profile.

Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.


National Academies Press US ; To understand the context of a person's life course, it is critical to understand the age cohort to which that individual belongs. Youth growing up today will see changes that earlier generations of lesbians and gay men would never have expected in their lifetimes, including politicians, business leaders, and educators who are openly gay; marriage between same-sex couples; and an evolving popular and artistic culture that provides many positive portrayals of lesbian and gay characters in movies and plays, on television, and in literature.

Today's youth are able to use the Internet to retrieve online information about LGBT issues, providing social networking opportunities and access to knowledge in a way that was not available to older cohorts. At the same time, young LGBT people searching the Internet and interacting with their peers will be aware of the pervasive negative views of sexual and gender minorities.

Likewise, many transgender elders did not even know as children that other transgender people existed, and certainly received little acknowledgment of their transgender feelings.

The work encompassed all aspects of a running a human rights organization. School victimization based on known or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity has been documented consistently in studies of LGB and, more recently, transgender adolescents. The development of sexual identity in lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals is a unique process that has been widely reported in the scientific literature and popular culture but has received surprisingly little empirical attention.

By contrast, many transgender children and adolescents today have role models either in the media or in real lifeand their gender-variant expression is often sufficient for parents to obtain more information and access existing networks of families with gender-variant children.

Moreover, transgender youth today have access to early medical intervention to alleviate any gender dysphoria defined as discomfort with one's sex assigned at birth they might experience. In this report, childhood and adolescence encompasses the life course through the emergence of adulthood, generally understood by the committee to occur in the early 20s. During this phase of life, a person, regardless of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity, develops from a child who must be cared for to a self-reliant individual.

The developmental changes that occur are complex, particularly with the onset of puberty. LGBT youth face the same challenges as their heterosexual peers, but also stigma that may contribute to the identified disparities in health status between sexual- and gender-minority youth and this web page youth.

The ability to address these disparities is hampered by our lack Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible knowledge about LGBT youth.

Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible

One of the challenges of discussing the development of children and adolescents who are LGBT is that beliefs and biases have often precluded substantive research. Not long ago, for example, a prevailing notion was that one's sexual identity and orientation did not emerge Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible late adolescence and that an attraction to people of the same sex was likely a passing phase Money, Moreover, efforts to survey young people about their sexual orientation have been fraught with difficulties at both the institutional review board and community levels.

These barriers have impeded important developmental research. While the current state of knowledge regarding the health of LGBT youth is derived from limited research, it is worth noting that much of this research has focused on mental health; little research has been conducted on the physical health of LGBT youth because, like most other youth, they generally do not struggle with chronic diseases that impact their physical health.

As mentioned in previous chapters, the disparities in both mental and physical health that are seen between LGBT and heterosexual and non-gender-variant youth are influenced largely by their experiences of stigma and discrimination during the development of their sexual orientation and gender identity and throughout the life course.

This chapter begins with a discussion of the development of sexual orientation and gender identity in LGBT youth. The chapter then reviews the research on mental health and then physical health in these youth. Risk and protective factors and health services are then addressed in turn.

The chapter next examines contextual influences, such as demographic characteristics and the role of the family. The chapter concludes with a summary of key findings and research opportunities. Of note, the chapter emphasizes adolescence rather than childhood because of the limited research available on younger children's and pre-adolescents' awareness of, feelings about, and experiences with being LGBT.

Adolescents are engaged in an ongoing process of sexual development Rosario et al. This ongoing process suggests that for some adolescents, self-identification of sexual orientation and the sex of sexual partners may change over time and may not necessarily be congruent Saewyc et al. The development of sexual identity in lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals is a unique process that has been widely reported in the scientific literature and popular culture but has received surprisingly little empirical attention.

Early models of sexual identity development were generated on the basis of retrospective descriptions by adults. Models of homosexual identity development proposed by Cass and Troiden describe a staged process that 1 recognizes the impact of stigma that affects both the formation and expression of homosexual identity, 2 unfolds over a period of time, 3 involves increasing acceptance of a homosexual identity, and 4 includes disclosure to other persons.

However, these models were developed at a time in which access to information about sexual orientation was limited; negative attitudes about homosexuality were more prevalent; and few resources existed for the study of LGB populations, particularly adolescents.

Furthermore, the development of Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible theoretical models was based on the retrospective experiences of white adults. The first study to explore the development of adolescent lesbian and gay identity in depth included LGB see more, more than half of whom were racial minority youth Herdt and Boxer, The mean age of self-identification as lesbian or gay was Gay males were, on average, aware of same-sex attraction at about age 9; the average age for lesbians was Based on the results of their study, the researchers concluded that sexual identity development should be viewed as an ongoing process rather than as a series of stages or phases.

Investigators who conducted early work on the development of sexual orientation identity argued that coming out or self-identifying as lesbian or gay during adolescence may be a developmental process seen only in contemporary LGB youth—one that may have unique consequences for later life-course development compared with lesbian and gay adults who did not come out during adolescence Boxer and Cohler, Herdt and Boxer article source the process of transition from a heterosexual to a gay identity in the context of LGB cultural supports social institutions, a gay youth program, lesbian and gay adult role models.

Boxer and Cohler observe that one of the major developmental tasks for lesbian and gay youth is the deconstruction of previously internalized heterosexual expectations and the construction of a new set of future expectations of the gay and lesbian life course. These include age of awareness of sexual attraction; age of self-labeling as lesbian, gay, or bisexual; age of disclosure of same-sex orientation; and age of first sexual experience. Research subsequent to Herdt and Boxer's early work found comparable ages of first awareness of sexual attraction i.

Earlier literature indicates that this experience may be especially challenging for young people who come out during adolescence, given the need to integrate an LGB identity with other aspects of identity development in the context of social stigma and discrimination.

In business, media, and philanthropic fields, the need for a queer perspective is of exponential importance. These include age of awareness of sexual attraction; age of self-labeling as lesbian, gay, or bisexual; age of disclosure of same-sex orientation; and age of first sexual experience. Divided into two key concepts: There are two Pride parades each year, as well as LGBT sport leagues, youth programs, a handful of gay and lesbian bars, and more. I suspect that interning within the Office of Representative Niki Tsongas Smith Class of '68 will make the summer of as profound of a moment in my own life as the period go here been within the legislative life of the country.

However, little current research is available to show how this process might differ for contemporary adolescents as a result of increased awareness, greater access to information, and changes in media representation of LGB people.

More research is needed to understand the process of coming out for diverse populations of LGB youth. Similarly, little research has focused on sexual identity development among ethnically diverse LGB adolescents. Development experiences may differ as adolescents negotiate both read article and sexual orientation identity.

One community-based study of white, black, and Latino LGB youth aged 14—21 found no differences in sexual identity, current sexual orientation, or comfort with and acceptance of sexual identity among the three racial groups Rosario et al.

Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible

However, black youth were involved in fewer gay-related social activities, were less comfortable with others knowing about their sexual identity, and disclosed their sexual orientation to fewer persons than their white peers. While Latino youth disclosed their LGB identity to fewer people than white or black youth, they were more comfortable with others knowing about their LGB identity than members of the other racial groups.

More recent research examined ethnic and sexual identity development during adolescence among 22 black and Latino gay youth aged 16—22 Jamil et al. The researchers found that ethnic and sexual identity developed concurrently during adolescence, but the processes were different and not related.

Ethnic identity development was shaped by growing awareness of the youth's ethnic and cultural heritage and was supported by peers; family members; and cultural markers such as food, music, and holidays. Sexual identity development was supported by community-based organizations, peers, and information from the Internet.

Sexual identity development was described as a private process, while ethnic identity development was viewed as a more public process. The ongoing process of sexual development among adolescents presents challenges to the collection of data on the size of the population of LGB youth, although some studies using large samples of adolescents have examined the prevalence of same-sex attraction, same-sex sexual behavior, and LGB identities.

Similar to sexual orientation identity, gender expression is not necessarily constant throughout childhood development. Gender variance, as it relates to expressing and exploring gender identity and gender roles, is a part of normal development. A relatively small percentage of gender-variant children develop an adult transgender identity Green, ; Wallien and Cohen-Kettenis, ; Zucker and Bradley, However, research shows that the majority of adolescents with a gender-variant identity develop an adult transgender identity Wallien and Cohen-Kettenis, Data on the prevalence of childhood gender-variant or transgender identities are severely limited, largely because there is no national database available to collect such data.

A relatively small number of studies using nonprobability samples have attempted to assess the incidence of childhood gender-variant identities. One such study, discussed in Chapter 2found that 1 percent of parents of boys aged 4—11 reported that their son wished to be of the other sex; for girls, the percentage was 3. Other studies using small nonprobability samples have documented trends in referrals to gender identity clinics by gender and persistence of gender identity concerns into adolescence and adulthood.

It should be noted that at follow-up, 30 percent of the sample failed to respond to recruitment letters or were not traceable. Research with small clinical samples of gender-variant children has shown that, compared with controls, gender-variant children have more difficulties with peer relationships Zucker et al. Poor peer relations was found to be the strongest predictor of behavior problems in both gender-variant boys and girls Cohen-Kettenis et al.

Grossman and D'Augelli conducted focus groups with young self-identified transgender males and females aged 15—21 and explored factors related to physical and mental health. In this qualitative study, most of the youth reported continue reading of family and peers reacting negatively toward their gender-atypical behaviors.

The nation's most prominent medical and mental health professional Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association, oppose the use of conversion therapy with both youth and adults AMA, ; American Psychiatric Association, a. The American Psychological Association formed a task force to review peer-reviewed studies on efforts to change sexual orientation.

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The task force concluded that evidence is lacking for the effectiveness of efforts to change sexual orientation and that conversion therapy may cause harm to LGBT individuals by increasing internalized stigma, distress, and depression American Psychological Association, Instead, the task force expressed support for the use of affirmative, culturally competent therapy that helps those facing distress related to their sexual orientation cope with social and internalized stigma and strengthen their social support networks American Psychological Association, As noted, most of the research conducted among LGBT youth has examined their mental health status.

Although a small amount of the literature explores the process of sexual orientation and gender identity development among LGBT youth see the preceding sectiona greater portion of the literature focuses on sexual-minority youth's risk for suicidality and depression; few studies examine the prevalence of mood, anxiety, or eating disorders in these populations. As discussed below, the lack of data in many areas of mental health demonstrates the need for further research on the mental health status of LGBT youth.

It is important to note that LGBT youth are typically well adjusted and mentally healthy. Research based on probability samples with LGB youth consistently indicates that the majority do not report mental health problems Mustanski et al. Regarding transgender youth, although no data from national probability samples are available, studies with sizable convenience samples indicate that many, if not most, of these youth do not report mental health problems Clements-Nolle et al. Most Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible the research that has been conducted on mental health disorders among LGBT youth has relied on symptom or distress scales rather than formal clinical diagnoses Mustanski et al.

To the committee's knowledge, only two published studies have assessed LGBT adolescents diagnostically. Fergusson and colleagues conducted a study in New Zealand click to see more the risk of psychiatric disorder and suicidal behavior using data from a birth cohort.

They found that, relative to youth who identified as heterosexual, youth who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual were between 1. It should be noted, however, that of the 1, youth surveyed, only 28 self-identified as LGB or described past relationships with same-sex partners Fergusson et al.

More recently, Mustanski and colleagues b administered a structured diagnostic interview to a community sample of LGBT youth.

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They found that, although the youth in the sample showed a higher prevalence of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders4th edition DSM -IV diagnoses compared with national data, the prevalence was similar to that among another sample of urban, ethnically diverse youth from the same geographic area.

Over the past decade, an increasing number of studies based on large probability samples have consistently found that LGB youth and youth who report same-sex romantic attraction are at increased risk for suicidal ideation and attempts, as well as depressive symptoms, in comparison with their heterosexual counterparts. These include both school-based, state-based, and national studies Almeida et al.

The results of these click at this page suggest increased rates of suicidal ideation and attempts among LGB youth in comparison with heterosexual youth even after controlling for potentially confounding factors such as substance use and depression.

These population-based studies followed more than two decades of community-based studies of LGB youth that showed elevated Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible rates of suicidal ideation and attempts and continue reading predictors of suicidality in these populations, although it should be noted that, much as with the larger population of young people, it is a small group of LGB youth who report suicidal behavior.

With few exceptions, the increased rate of suicidality among LGB youth in comparison with heterosexual youth is consistent across age groups i. However, evidence from longitudinal studies on suicidality over time among LGB youth is lacking. Some older evidence disputes the idea of increased rates of completed suicide among LGB youth. Two studies using postsuicide data found no association between suicide and sexual orientation Rich et al.

However, capturing information about sexual orientation is especially difficult postsuicide since adolescents who are highly conflicted about their sexual orientation may not share these concerns with others. Moreover, these studies examined completed suicides from more than 20 years ago, when it was more difficult to be openly gay during adolescence. In addition, results of two community-based Smith College Gay Statistics Teens Being Responsible suggest that some of the suicide attempts reported by LGB youth may not be life-threatening, but rather low-risk suicidal ideation or plans Savin-Williams, These studies have been challenged for potentially drawing on relatively low-risk populations, however Russell, Many risk factors, both general and LGB -specific, have been implicated in the increased rates of suicidal behavior among LGB youth see the detailed discussion of risk factors for the health of LGBT youth later in this chapter.