Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson
14. Failing Progress: Changes in School Climate for LGBT Youth Over Time
Anti-LGBT Remarks Over Time
Changes in School Climate for LGBT Youth Over Time
Joseph G. Kosciw, Emily A. Greytak, & Mark J. Bartkiewicz
Schools reinforce and reproduce the inequities found in larger society (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977), such that they serve to maintain existing power structures related to sexuality and gender. Specifically, schools produce and reproduce heterosexuality as the only “normal” and viable option (Kehily, 2002), while simultaneously reinforcing rigid gender norms that marginalize those who do not conform to the strict, binary system of gender (Connell, 1996). Anyone who falls outside these “normative” constructs of sexuality and gender—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth—is subject to violence, discrimination, and marginalization. Thus, it is no surprise that LGBT students report high rates of in-school victimization (Berlan, Corliss, Field, Goodman, & Austin, 2010; Harris Interactive & GLSEN, 2005; Kosciw, Greytak, Bartkiewicz, Boesen, & Palmer, 2012), including sexual harassment and physical assault (Bochenek & Brown, 2001; CDC, 2011; Gruber & Fineran, 2008). This anti-LGBT bias not only manifests itself in direct attacks on LGBT students, but it also becomes part of a school’s “hidden curriculum” (Jackson, 1968), perpetuating the invisibility and marginalization of LGBT people through both formal and informal structures (Walton, 2005). Official policies such as the lack of formal protections for LGBT students in anti-bullying policies or explicit limitations on discussion of LGBT issues, along with everyday practices of educators, including omissions of LGBT people in classroom curricula...