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.

Related Articles


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 December 20, 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 December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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