Survey reveals harassment of LGBT students in Greece

The results of the first Pan-Hellenic Survey regarding LGBT+ students in secondary education proves that the lives of Greek teens are harsh and full of discrimination.

Dialekti Angeli
Dialekti Angeli NewsMavens, Greece
Survey reveals harassment of LGBT students in Greece - NewsMavens
Pride parade Athens, Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

Only a few days before this year’s Athens Pride, the results of the first Pan-Hellenic survey regarding LGBT+ students shows that schools are breeding grounds for discrimination, violence and racism.

The research also includes personal testimonies:

“A professor once compared members of the LGBT+ community to pedophiles and cannibals…”

Additionally, there were many testimonies about teachers that not only did nothing while an LGBT+ student was attacked by his or her fellow students but in some cases even encouraged the harassment.

Also, the survey revealed sexual harassment is widespread. One young girl reported that a professor covered for a boy who had sexually harassed her by saying, “You shouldn’t wear such a short skirt. He is a boy after all.”  Another girl hesitated to walk to the blackboard because “[…] there will be comments about my physique.”

Such testimonies are all the more worrying, since 59.2% of the students surveyed declare that they have attended schools that are involved in information campaigns on bullying.

Details from the story:

  • The survey was an initiative of the Colour Youth – LGBTQ Youth Community of Athens. It lasted two years, the sample was 3,747 people of whom 1,963 identify themselves as LGBT+ persons.
  • 84.9% of the students have heard the word “gay” used in a negative tone.
  • 60.1% of the students surveyed report that none of the school books include information on LGBT+ issues.
  • 71.9% of the students are not comfortable talking about LGBT+ issues with their teachers.
  • 74.2% of students say that they have heard homophobic comments at their school, and 74.4% have heard transphobic comments.
  • Abusive comments against women are heard in a similar rate.
  • One out of three children has experienced some form of verbal harassment and one in seven students has been subjected to physical harassment and/or violence.
  • Despite the difficulties, the school performance of the LGBT+ students is very good and their academic aspirations are quite high.
  • Colour Youth proposes continuous training for the teachers on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity as well as the introduction of Sex Education in schools.
  • As for the school textbooks, the organization considers it very important not to promote / reproduce stereotypical and phobic perceptions and gender-based social norms.
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