Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anti-homophobia measures reduce binge drinking for all students

Date:
August 15, 2013
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Canadian high schools with anti-homophobia policies or gay-straight alliances that have been in place for three years or more have a positive effect on both gay and straight students' problem alcohol use.

Canadian high schools with anti-homophobia policies or gay-straight alliances (GSAs) that have been in place for three years or more have a positive effect on both gay and straight students' problem alcohol use, according to a new study by University of British Columbia researchers.

GSAs are student-led clubs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their straight allies. Their purpose is to provide support and advocacy and help make schools more inclusive.

"These strategies appear to be helpful not only for LGBTQ students, but all students," says Elizabeth Saewyc, senior author and professor with the UBC School of Nursing. "Interventions that can make schools safer for LGBTQ youth may actually reduce harassment for straight students, too. Schools should consider including GSAs and anti-homophobia policies as part of their alcohol and drug abuse prevention strategies."

In schools with established GSAs, lesbian and bisexual girls and heterosexual boys and girls, all were less likely to binge drink and experience problems associated with alcohol or drug use such as blacking out, car accidents, problems at school or family arguments about alcohol use. There were no significant effects for gay or bisexual boys. Both heterosexual boys and girls also had lower odds of binge drinking in schools with anti-homophobia policies.

Published recently in the journal Preventive Medicine, and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the study used data from the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey to look at whether students' odds of recent substance use were lower in schools with recent or more established anti-homophobia policies and gay straight alliances compared to schools without these strategies.

About the study

This study used the 2008 BC Adolescent Health Survey conducted by the McCreary Centre Society for grades 8 through 12, which involved 21,708 students in 280 schools in 50 districts across the province. Fifteen school districts had anti-homophobic bullying policies and 87 schools had GSAs.

Information about whether schools had a gay-straight alliance and/or anti-homophobic bullying policy, and the year each began, were mapped onto the student responses. Schools with GSAs or policies that had been established three or more years past, and schools with more recent GSAs or policies, were compared to schools without either GSAs or anti-homophobia policies.

Key findings:

In schools with GSAs started three or more years ago:

  • Lesbian and bisexual girls were 55 per cent less likely to drink alcohol last Saturday
  • Lesbian and bisexual girls were 52 per cent less likely to binge drink last Saturday
  • Heterosexual boys and girls were 19 per cent less likely to binge drink last Saturday
  • Heterosexual boys had 20 per cent lower odds of problems from alcohol or drug use
  • No differences for gay/bisexual boys
  • No effects for heavy marijuana use

In schools with anti-homophobia policies enacted three or more years ago:

  • Heterosexual boys were 45 per cent less likely to report binge drinking six or more days in the past month
  • Heterosexual girls were 62 per cent less likely to binge drink 6 or more days in the past month, 32 per cent less likely to binge drink last Saturday, and 28 per cent less likely to report problems from alcohol or drug use

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chiaki Konishi, Elizabeth Saewyc, Yuko Homma, Colleen Poon. Population-level evaluation of school-based interventions to prevent problem substance use among gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents in Canada. Preventive Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.06.031

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Anti-homophobia measures reduce binge drinking for all students." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815105045.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2013, August 15). Anti-homophobia measures reduce binge drinking for all students. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815105045.htm
University of British Columbia. "Anti-homophobia measures reduce binge drinking for all students." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130815105045.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

Richard III's Car Park Burial Site Opens to Public

AFP (July 25, 2014) Visitors will be able to look down from a glass walkway on the grave of King Richard III when a new centre opens in the English cathedral city of Leicester, where the infamous hunchback was found under a car park in 2012. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins