Study: LGBT Athletes Twice As Likely To Be Harassed As Straight Jocks

College athletes who identify as LGBT are twice as frequently the victim of harassment as their heterosexual teammates, according to a new study from Campus Pride.

Negative comments from peers can affect academic progress as well as performance on the field, according to researchers, who polled 8,481 student-athletes from universities across America.

It is clear from the findings that climate affects LGBQ student-athletes’ academic and athletic outcomes. LGBQ student-athletes generally experience and perceive a more negative climate than their heterosexual peers in relation to four climate variables: Perceptions of Climate, Perceptions of Respect, Athletic Department Addresses Discrimination, and Diversity Leadership from Athletic Personnel. LGBQ student-athletes experience a more negative climate than their heterosexual peers which affects their academic success as well as their athletic identity.

The results also suggest that experiences and perceptions of climate affect student-athlete well-being. And student-athletes do experience harassment—LGBQ student-athletes twice as much as their heterosexual peers. In general, LGBQ student-athletes’ experiences with harassment parallel the overall sample in that it’s based on sport-related reasons and is usually perpetrated by coaches and other student-athletes, most frequently at practice. However, there are many less frequent circumstances that were disproportionately reported by LGBQ student-athletes. They are almost 28 times more likely to report that harassment is based on their sexual identity. They are also pressured to be silent about their identity over four times as much, and are singled out as the resident authority on their sexual identity almost six times as frequently as heterosexual student-athletes.

The report also found that “in-house” harassment, from teammates, administrators or coaches, was most prevalent.

 introduced a new Web site that will include the latest information on LGBT issues in athletics.

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