A study at the University of California at San Francisco discovered that sexual minority offenders are more likely to get stuck in the system.
In a world where conventional sexuality seems to be slowly falling by the wayside, it seems our day-to-day lives are still lagging behind in a world wrestling with prejudice and bigotry.
A new piece of research has revealed that young people who identify as LGBT are massively over-represented among first-time offenders. Recruiting 423 first-time, non-detained offenders, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco looked at how sexuality continues to impacts young people’s wellbeing and found that one in three youths who break the law identity as LGBTQ.
The brains behind the study were quick to contextualize the findings, asserting that the results are not because sexual minorities as more likely to offend, but that when it comes those going through the mire of our criminal justice system, you’re more likely to have an easier ride if you’re straight.
The report’s lead author Matthew Hirschtritt said there’s a stark difference whose mental health suffers. “If we compare court-involved sexual minority youth with court-involved straight youth, we see more severe psychological distress and a greater likelihood of child-welfare system involvement.”
Rather than trawling through data on prisoners, researchers looked a young people being monitored by the courts for offences like underage drinking or breaking and entering.
The news is in line with a series of reports that have come out recently, questioning the assertions that homophobia is fast becoming a thing of the past. Last week it also came to light that over half of LGBT+ people in the US chose to keep their sexuality secret from their employers, and yesterday a survey in Austrailia uncovered that 47 percent of queer 18-to-29-year-olds in the country have yet to disclose their sexuality to either their friends or family.