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Standing alone: sexual minority status and victimisation in a rural lower secondary school

Journal article
Authors Ylva Odenbring
Published in International Journal of Inclusive Education
Pages 1-15
ISSN 1360-3116
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 1-15
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.20...
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/ful...
Keywords Homophobia; rural; lower secondary school; sexual minorities; violence; victimisation
Subject categories Educational Sciences

Abstract

Studies worldwide indicate that sexual minority students often face different forms of bullying in everyday life at school, and young people growing up in communities with conservative values, such as in rural areas, are often in a particularly vulnerable position. Nonetheless, there is an absence of studies addressing the everyday lives of sexual minority students in rural schools. Drawing on interviews with students in the ninth grade of a rural lower secondary school in Sweden, the current study has investigated experiences of violence and harassment routinely directed at sexual minority students at school. The results indicate that the local gender regime is strongly framed by heteronormative values that position non-heterosexual students as the Other. Sexual minority students are exposed to homophobic name-calling on a daily basis, and threats and physical violence are also common. To fit in and to ‘survive’ in school, sexual minority students are forced to accept the homophobic name-calling and are sometimes also forced to physically fight back. This study concludes that it is important that schools address issues around violence directed towards non-heterosexual students, and that ways to create a more inclusive and safe school environment be identified. © 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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