Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Celia Winkler

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Sociology

Abstract

The purpose of this project was be to identify whether there are higher levels of extreme discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth in rural high schools based on sexual orientation and/or gender expression in comparison to urban high schools. Generally, as seen within the United States, smaller, rural communities tend to be comprised of primarily conservative families, so I sought to investigate if there is a correlation between rural communities and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.

To complete this research project, I analyzed existing data and literature regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender expression, identifying data and personal stories specific to rural high school student experiences. The literature pointed to community poverty and educational attainment levels being better predictors of LGBTQ+ discrimination in a community than political ideology. However, this topic led me to finding a gap in the research that could inform a policy brief to be presented to education administrations or state legislators.

This project contributes to the field of Sociology by determining that more focus on rural high school anti-harassment policies can create a safer environment for all students considering that the practices in place are insufficient. My research findings allowed the finding of evidence that rural high school administrators can be more proactive in providing safe environments for their students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 17th, 10:40 AM Apr 17th, 11:00 AM

Prevalence of Extreme Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ High School Students in Rural Communities

UC 327

The purpose of this project was be to identify whether there are higher levels of extreme discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth in rural high schools based on sexual orientation and/or gender expression in comparison to urban high schools. Generally, as seen within the United States, smaller, rural communities tend to be comprised of primarily conservative families, so I sought to investigate if there is a correlation between rural communities and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.

To complete this research project, I analyzed existing data and literature regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender expression, identifying data and personal stories specific to rural high school student experiences. The literature pointed to community poverty and educational attainment levels being better predictors of LGBTQ+ discrimination in a community than political ideology. However, this topic led me to finding a gap in the research that could inform a policy brief to be presented to education administrations or state legislators.

This project contributes to the field of Sociology by determining that more focus on rural high school anti-harassment policies can create a safer environment for all students considering that the practices in place are insufficient. My research findings allowed the finding of evidence that rural high school administrators can be more proactive in providing safe environments for their students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community.