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Criminal-Justice and School Sanctions Against Nonheterosexual Youth: A National Longitudinal Study


A study based on The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that homosexual adolescents were at higher risk of getting stricter punishments for crimes committed, but not of committing more or worse crimes.

Two portions of the survey were analyzed, one from 1994-1995 and another from 2001-2002. Homosexuality consistently predicted a higher risk of being stopped by the police, being expelled from school, having a juvenile arrest and conviction, and having an adult conviction. Homosexual girls were shown to be at particularly high risk

Overall, homosexual teens had between 1.25 and 3 times more of a chance of being criminally sanctioned than their heterosexual peers.

Self-identification of sexual orientation differed based on gender. Males were more likely to identify 100 percent heterosexual or homosexual, whereas females were more likely to select a middle category. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found also that youth who question their sexuality may be at especially high risk for sanctions.

According to the study, the fault for these disparities lies not only with police and the courts, but with schools, and other youth-serving health and welfare systems.

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