Bullying, cyberbullying & sexuality: “Everyone needs a good friend”
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Bullying is a pervasive social issue that occurs in numerous contexts and is particularly recognized in populations that are easily targeted. Individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning (LGBQ) are at an increased risk of victimization. Using mixed methodology involving 40 participants (N= 20) LGBQ and (N = 20) non-LGBQ and 10 subsequent in-depth interviews, this study examined prevalence rates of (cyber)bullying on the basis of sexual orientation. Results indicate a high frequency of direct and indirect bullying of LGBQ as compared to non-LGBQ youth. Ten interviews revealed themes that precipitate victimization such as the lack of understanding of LGBQ issues, educational shortfalls, societal and stereotypical beliefs. Results highlight the importance and need of formal and informal support (i.e. peer and online support).