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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 09/24/2010

Report: Gays face high rate of harassment on college campuses

By Valerie Strauss

The U.S. military is not the only difficult environment for gay and lesbians. A new research study on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on college and university campuses across the country reveals high rates of harassment and a lack of inclusiveness in policies and programs.

The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People is the first comprehensive national study documenting this issue on college campuses. It was released by Campus Pride, a national non-profit working to create safer and more inclusive colleges for LGBT people.

U.S. legislators were briefed on the report yesterday, a day after the Senate refused to even discuss repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which bans gay men and women from serving openly in the armed forces.

Here are some of the report’s findings:

*Almost one-quarter (23%) of LGBT staff, faculty, and students reported experiencing harassment (defined as any conduct that has interfered with your ability to work or learn).

*One-third of LGBT (33%) and transgender (38%) students, faculty, and staff have seriously considered leaving their institution due to the challenging climate.

*More than half of all LGBT faculty, students, & staff hide their sexual identity (43%) or gender identity (63%) to avoid intimidation.

*More than a third of all transgender students, faculty, & staff (43%) and 13% of LGBT respondents feared for their physical safety.

*LGBT respondents were twice as likely to be targets of derogatory remarks (61%), stared at (37%), and singled out as the “resident authority” regarding LGBT issues due to their identity (36%) when compared with their heterosexual counterparts (29%, 17%, and 18%, respectively).

The results were based on 4,159 surveys returned in spring 2009, by students, staff members, faculty members, and administrators representing all 50 states and all Carnegie Basic Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education.

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By Valerie Strauss  | September 24, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  College Life, Research  | Tags:  LGBT, campus pride, discrimination and gays, don't ask don't tell, gays on campus, harassment and gays, military and gays  
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