Experiences of and views on lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual youth
Original title: Young people and sexual orientation
The Netherlands Institute for Social Research ¦ SCP carries out regular research on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. In this report, the focus is on young people in the Netherlands. The report addresses two issues: attitudes of young people to LGBT issues and similarities and differences in the social situation, lifestyle and well-being between LGB and heterosexual youngsters, and the explanations for these similarities and differences. The attitudes of Dutch youngsters to these issues appear to have become more positive over time, though this depends on the specific issue. Friendships with LGBs are for example more accepted than two boys kissing each other. The differences in social situation, lifestyle and well-being outweigh the similarities in a negative way for young LGBs. Key differences occur in the relationship with parents, school experience (such as bullying and truancy), substance use (such as smoking and use of drugs) and psychological problems (such as emotional and behavioural problems or suicidal tendencies). By contrast, there are no differences in their experiences with their circle of friends. The differences are related to both general and LGB-specific risk factors (such as encountering homonegative reactions).
The study was carried out at the request of the Emancipation Department of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
Lisette Kuyper is a member of the Education, Minorities and Methodology research group at SCP. Her expertise lies in the fields of LGBT, sexuality, health and young people.