Statistics show that about one third of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people who were bullied at school have also been bullied at work.
The latest statistics from Anglia Ruskin University found that 35 percent of gay and bisexual men who had been taunted at school went on to be bullied in their place of work.
For lesbian and bisexual women, this statistic was 29 percent.
The survey also revealed that more than half of gay men (56 percent) and nearly one in two (47 percent) lesbians were “dissatisfied” with their job.
Nearly one in three gay men bullied at school, says survey
The survey included responses from 400 LGB individuals with an average age of 37, meaning they attended school between 1985 and 1997.
Between 1988 and 2003, Section 28 banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in UK schools.
Almost three quarters of gay men (73 percent) said they were bullied to some extent at school, while this figure was 59 percent for lesbians.
Nick Drydakis, a reader in economics at Anglia Ruskin University, who authored the study, explained that people bullied at school could display attributes such as low self-esteem and vulnerability, meaning they are more likely to be targeted by workplace bullies.
“Post school-age bullying victims might exhibit characteristics of vulnerability.”
— Nick Drydakis, author of the study
“This study suggests that bullying may be a chronic problem for LGB individuals, which continues from school to the workplace,” said Drydakis.
“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.
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“Factors like these may make it more likely they will experience bullying in the workplace later in life.”
“Post school-age bullying victims might exhibit characteristics of vulnerability, such as sub-assertive behaviours, which make them attractive targets for unfavourable treatments and evaluations from colleagues and employers in the workplace.”
Adam McCann, deputy CEO at Diversity Role Models, a charity that works to prevent LGBT+ bullying in schools, told PinkNews that the new statistics were “not surprising.”
“No human should be subjected to bullying in school or in the workplace,” he said.
“Young people reaching their full potential as adults requires us to all do our part to create an inclusive education system.”
Previous research shows large number of LGBT+ people bullied
Past studies have shown that anti-LGBT+ bullying is widespread in schools and in the workplace.
Nearly half (45 per cent) of LGBT+ pupils, including 64 percent of trans students, are bullied in UK schools, according to statistics published by Stonewall.
The LGBT+ rights charity has also said that one in five of LGB employees (19 percent) have been verbally abused by their colleagues or customers over their sexual orientation in the past five years.
More than 10 percent of trans people have reported verbal bullying at work, according to Stonewall. Six percent have been physically assaulted.