Close to four out of every ten high school students (38.6%) claim to have been the victim of a homophobic incident at school, because they are or are believed to be gay, lesbian or bisexual.
The results of our research show that homophobic violence affects a large number of students, whatever their sexual orientation, sex, language of origin, geographic region or grade in school. Many student victims of homophobia report missing classes or entire days of school, having a low feeling of belonging to the school, or experiencing psychological problems. Much research has demonstrated the negative consequences of these factors on success and persistence in school, an impact that can be counteracted by the support of friends, teachers or councillors as well as through artistic activities or sports.
This research contributes to increasing awareness and mobilizing the players in the education sector.
The present study, the first to provide wide-scale documentation of homophobia in high schools and colleges across Quebec, confirms the tendencies observed in similar recent studies carried out in Canada and the United States. It also shows the need for school administrators, teachers and councillors to introduce concerted efforts to fight homophobia and increase awareness about sexual diversity.
By providing concrete and exhaustive documentation of the incidence and consequences of homophobia in schools across Quebec, this research contributes to increasing awareness and mobilizing the players in the education sector, targeting existing intervention guides, and increasing knowledge about the tools available and the practice models already in place.
Line Chamberland, Université du Québec à Montréal
Deposit of the research report: August 2010