At Born This Way Foundation, we believe in the power and importance of research as a tool as we work to build a kinder and braver world. The Born Brave Experience Survey has been a centerpiece of these efforts and today we’re so excited to announce preliminary findings from the survey’s third phase which concluded in March.
We collected data from more than 8,500 young people ages 13 to 25, examining a number of factors related to youth wellness and empowerment, including the relationship between traditional bullying and cyberbullying, particularly for LGBTQ young people. Here are some of the things we learned:
- While the conversation around bullying has largely shifted focus from traditional bullying that occurs verbally or in person to the rise of cyberbullying, the survey found that the two forms of harassment are linked. Approximately 77% of respondents who reported that they had been bullied online also said that they had been the victim of traditional forms of bullying. Furthermore, the intensity of the harassment was also correlated, with those who experienced higher levels of cyberbullying also reporting higher levels of traditional bullying.
- Transgender individuals were more likely to report that they have experienced cyberbullying compared to their cisgender peers or those who identified as pangender or genderqueer. Approximately 52% of those who identified as transgender reported experiencing cyberbullying versus 22% of those who identified as cisgender or 28% of those who identified as pangender or genderqueer.
- Similarly, bisexual young people were more likely to report that they have experienced cyberbullying compared to their heterosexual peers or those who identify as gay or lesbian. Approximately 28% of those who identified as bisexual reported experiencing cyberbullying versus 18% of those who identified as heterosexual or 21% of those who identified as gay or lesbian.
- LGBTQ youth who reported experiencing harassment online were also more likely to report experiencing symptoms of depression compared to those who were not cyberbullied. However, those who are being bullied online were less likely to report symptoms of depression if they have support from friends though, notably, the study did not find a similar correlation with family support. This suggests that, while receiving support from family is vital in many regards, fostering strong friendships may help LGBTQ young people cope with the impact of online harassment.
These findings illustrate the importance of Born This Way Foundation’s commitment to working with young people to build more positive environments, online and offline.
Do you speak Spanish? Click here to take the Spanish-language version of the Born Brave Experience Survey.