If you were bullied in school because of your sexuality, it may ‘follow’ you into your professional adult life.
Around a third of gay, lesbian and bisexual people who experienced bullying in school also reported bullying in their workplace, according to a new study from Anglia Ruskin University.
The study gathered 400 observations from people living in Britain in 2016.
It found 35.2% of gay and bisexual men reported ‘frequent’ bullying in school that carried over into their workplace. This compares to 29% for lesbian and bisexual women.
When describing their experiences at school, 73% of gay men said they were either constantly, frequently or sometimes bullied.
Just 9.9% said they never experienced bullying.
Among lesbian women, 59% experienced constant, frequent, or occasional bullying.
The average age of participants was 37, meaning their school years would have been approximately between 1985 and 1997.
From the playground to the workforce
The British study states school-age bullying accounts for lower academic performance, lower educational qualifications and school dropouts.
Bullying also increases rates of depression, stress and anxiety, as well as lower social and global self-esteem.
The study concludes school-age bullying against LGB people relates to lower levels of higher education.
This then led to lower probabilities of working in white-collar jobs, especially for gay and bisexual men.
Author Dr Nick Drydakis from Anglia Ruskin University said: ‘This study suggests that bullying may be a chronic problem for LGB individuals, which continues from school to the workplace.
‘Post school-age bullying victims might exhibit characteristics of vulnerability, such as sub-assertive behaviours, which make them attractive targets for unfavorable treatments and evaluations from colleagues and employers in the workplace.
‘In turn, individuals, firms and society as a whole face long-lasting negative effects which appear to begin in the playground,’ he said.
To combat this problem, the study recommends anti-bullying strategies and affirmative action in school, as well as in the workplace.
The study found the existence of LGBTI groups in the workplace can help gay, lesbian and bisexual people fit in.