Homophobia rife amongst Malaga’s youth

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The study, entitled Homophobia Amongst Teenagers, is a part of an anti-bullying campaign.

SIXTY per cent of 13-year-old boys in Malaga Province say they would end a friendship with another boy if they discovered he was gay, a new study has revealed.

The study, entitled Homophobia Amongst Teenagers, was led by Malaga University student and psychologist Giselle Bolaño and presented at the regional Andalucian Rainbow Federation headquarters in Malaga.

Altogether 751 public secondary school students aged between 12 and 18 were questioned before visits from federation representatives as part of a homophobia-related anti-bullying campaign and a marked difference in attitude between sexes was noted.

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Sex, federation president Gonzalo Serrano said, has proved to play an important part in students’ attitudes with half of males questioned still believing they would always be able to identify homosexuals by their looks, manner of speech or profession.

In fact rejection levels amongst boys were reported to be three times higher than amongst girls, especially at the age of 13. While 60 per cent of boys this age said they would end a friendship if the other person was found to be gay, only 23 per cent of girls said they would do the same.

The good news, Serrano said, was that almost 90 per cent of students questioned said that homosexual couples could be perfectly good parents.

1 COMMENT

  1. I wonder if any of the ‘phobes complaining about Benidorm Pride have read this? “You’ve got equality now, you’re allowed to get married, so shut up and stop shoving it down our throats.”
    Not so, when we have teenagers who are isolated and ostracised by their classmates because they are gay. Even the girls’ 23% is too many; it should be 0% across the board.
    “Promoting it in schools is barbaric.”
    ‘Promoting’ homosexuality is impossible: you either are, or you’re not, and no amount of ‘exposure’ will change that. (Gay people had heterosexuality ‘promoted’ to us almost exclusively in school, family and social life; that didn’t make us heterosexual).
    But children who are gay (yes, all gay adults were gay children once) are suffering rejection, bullying and losing friends because of homophobia, caused by lack of awareness of this being a NORMAL way of life (and NOT chosen, but innate) among kids in school.
    Homophobia causes mental health problems, depression, school failure, eating disorders, self-harm, addiction, and even suicide – attempted or real – among children and teenagers in schools. Those who survive do not shed these problems the second they become adults; in purely practical, rather than emotional terms, these AVOIDABLE mental health issues cost governments billions in medical treatment. (Homophobes ought to be made to pay for this treatment, I think. But we can never enforce that, unfortunately).
    NORMAL children and adults are suffering mental illness which affects their daily lives, working lives and physical health because of homophobia. Not because of what they ARE, or what they’ve DONE, or because anything is their FAULT, but because of ignorance and narrow-mindedness among those around them.
    This is not acceptable in a humane, caring and civilised society in the 21st century. If it takes demonstrations, talks in schools, media articles, lesbian relationships on TV shows, and so on to change that, then yes, it is very much worth ‘shoving it down people’s throats’.
    Because we may be ‘allowed to marry and adopt’ (as though it’s a special privilege awarded to us, rather than the same as other couples have been allowed to for centuries), but gay kids are still getting bullied and will become adults with depression.
    Because kids (and adults) still think they can ‘tell a gay man/lesbian by their looks/profession’ (very isolating for feminine, girlie girls who are lesbians or masculine guys who are gay; that’s two ways in which they don’t fit in: by being gay in the first place, and by feeling invisible because they ‘don’t look gay enough’).
    After all, the level of equality we DO have these days would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. Now, we no longer have to pretend our life partners are our ‘friends’ or ‘flatmates’; we can call them ‘husband’ or ‘wife’, just like the rest of you always have done. We no longer have to accept we can never have kids, put our civil status down as ‘single’ when we’ve been with the love of our life for decades, be overruled or overlooked in next-of-kin health decisions, pay top whack inheritance tax at ‘total stranger’ rates, lose jobs if we’re ‘found out’, avoid personal pronouns when asked about our home lives, or resign ourselves to putting up with insults and social and family isolation ‘because it’s our own fault for being gay, so what should we expect’.
    How did we achieve this basic social respect, which everyone else takes for granted as their birthright? By ‘shoving it down people’s throats’. Or, in a less prejudiced format, ‘by being open about who we are and demanding equal treatment’, and by refusing to tolerate rudeness (ie, so-called ‘homophobia’) in public or in private. Anybody from any walk of life in the same situation would do likewise. If this basic consideration was denied to left-handed people, dyslexic people, adopted people, etc, they too would ‘shove their condition down other people’s throats’ until they got the same level of across-the-board respect and legal rights as everyone else.
    We still have a long way to go, as this article shows, even in the west. Nobody has the right to insult, attack, ostracise or deny rights or respect to any other person merely on the grounds of their DNA. No, not even the ‘right’ to ‘freedom of speech’ allows anyone to be offensive to another person: the ‘right’ to ‘freedom of speech’ ends precisely where it treads on the rights of others to respect and basic human consideration.

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