Gay, lesbian and bisexual youth are held behind bars longer and have a substantially higher rate of being sexually abused compared to their heterosexual peers, a new study finds
The study, by researchers at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, is based on the 2012 National Survey of Youth in Custody-2, which was comprised of anonymous youth surveys in a nationally representative sample of juvenile correctional facilities that included an indicator of sexual orientation. Sexual minority youth identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, as well as teenagers that identified as mostly straight, but had some attraction to the same sex.
The report, “Disproportionality and Disparities Among Sexual Minority Youth in Custody,” appears in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Here are some key findings:
- Almost 60 percent of all incarcerated girls are sexual minorities.
- Sexual minority youth are two and a half times more likely to be held in custody for more than a year compared to heterosexual youth.
- Gay and bisexual boys were nearly 11 times more likely than straight boys to be sexually abused by peers.