More than 40% of gay and bisexual male teenagers in Japan have been bullied because of their sexual orientation, a survey has found.
The survey of 20,000 gay and bisexual men nationwide was conducted online by Takarazuka University’s nursing school between August and December last year.
Of the 1,096 teen respondents, 44% said they had experienced bullying. About 23% played truant and 18% resorted to self-harm as ways of coping.
In a separate survey of male junior and senior high school students in the greater Tokyo area, 41% said they had never been taught about homosexuality, a significant drop from the 63% recorded in a 2005 poll.
However, those who had received negative information about sexual minorities increased from 23% to 30%.
‘It is difficult for children who are sexual minorities to signal an SOS because they are unsure who they can trust enough to talk to,’ lead researcher Yasuharu Hidaka told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
‘Faculty members should regularly send out positive messages about sexual minorities to build an atmosphere that would make it easier for the children to talk to someone about the issue.’