GLSEN releases study of middle and high school athletics

About half of LGBT students say they have been harassed in gym class

GLSEN today has released a research brief detailing findings from 2011 about sports and physical education in middle schools and high schools. Some of the findings were confirmation of things we already knew, but even those had some eye-opening details. For example, 50% of LGBT students said they had been harassed in P.E. class for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Half! While varsity athletes intent on winning may understand the increasingly powerful "you can play" mantra, gym class mixes everyone together and generally doesn't put much emphasis on winning, making it a breeding ground for harassment.

Curious where that harassment is occurring? The study showed that about 40% of students avoid the locker room. While there may be some issues around nudity there, you can bet their avoidance is as much about getting picked on as anything else.

You can find GLSEN's brief on the research here. And also check out the resources they offer with their Changing The Game program.

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