New research discovers many lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals who are bullied at school will have similar experiences in the workplace later in life.
UK investigators found that 35.2 percent of gay/bisexual men who had experienced frequent school-age bullying experience frequent workplace bullying. Among lesbian women, the figure was 29 percent.
Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University approached 400 LGB individuals retrospectively about their experience at school, and also asked them about bullying at their current workplace.
Their findings appear in the Manchester School Journal.
When describing their experiences at school, 73 percent of gay men said they were either constantly, frequently or sometimes bullied. Only 9.9 percent said they were never bullied.
Among lesbian women, 59 percent experienced constant, frequent, or occasional bullying. The mean age of participants was 37, meaning their school years would have been approximately between 1985 and 1997.
Investigators also examined job satisfaction. Most gay men said they were “dissatisfied” with their job (56 percent). Similarly, 47 percent of Lesbian women reported similar concerns.
According to Dr. Nick Drydakis, the principal investigator, “This study suggests that bullying may be a chronic problem for LGB individuals, which continues from school to the workplace.
“This could be for a number of reasons — school-age bullying could be more likely to lead to low self-esteem, a difficulty in forming trusting relationships, or a greater risk of poor mental health.”
Factors like these may make it more likely they will experience bullying in the workplace later in life, he said.
“Post school-age bullying victims might exhibit characteristics of vulnerability, such as sub-assertive behaviors, which make them attractive targets for unfavorable treatments and evaluations from colleagues and employers in the workplace.
“In turn, individuals, firms and society as a whole face long-lasting negative effects which appear to begin in the playground.
“There is also a negative association between bullying of LGB individuals, and job satisfaction. Interestingly, we found that the existence of a workplace group for LGB individuals appeared to result in better job satisfaction, perhaps a lesson for employers wanting a more satisfied and motivated workforce.”
The study’s patterns are in line with a 2018 UK Government Equalities Office survey finding that at least 40 percent of LGBT respondents had experienced verbal harassment or physical violence between 2016 and 2017.
Source: Anglia Ruskin University