A Message from Dr. Joy Johnson, Scientific Director of the Institute of Gender and Health: Tackling Bullying

Back to feature: Tackling Bullying

While bullying is a societal problem that affects everyone, some youth are known to be more vulnerable than others. In 2008, a report by Statistics Canada revealed that the rate of discrimination experienced among students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified, Two-Spirited, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) is three times higher than heterosexual youth. LGBTQ students are also known to experience higher rates of violent victimization, including sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault.

For many Canadians, going to work or school can be a stressful experience because of bullying. Students who are bullied are less likely to participate in sports and report lower levels of school connectedness. Not conforming to conventional gender norms or stereotypes should never be a reason to be teased or threatened. No one deserves to be bullied. That's why it's essential that we educate ourselves and our communities regarding the negative consequences of homophobic bullying on the health of Canada's young people, and take coordinated action on measures to improve their health and safety.

The CIHR Institute of Gender and Health believes in the importance of research that examines bullying and its prevention across different settings and populations. IGH has funded a number of grants to advance our understanding of the health consequences of bullying among men, women, girls and boys – including the increased vulnerability of sexual minority youth and the effects of workplace bullying on men's health.

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