Sieccan Newsletter

Wells, Kristopher
December 2009
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2009, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p221
Academic Journal
This article provides an overview of the critical risk factors that negatively impact the health, safety, personal wellness, and educational achievement of sexual minority youth. Contemporary and landmark studies of the key stressors faced by sexual minority are reviewed with an emphasis on Canadian data. Sexual minority youth often encounter multiple risk factors, have fewer protective factors (such as a sense of connectedness to school and family), and experience more bullying, harassment, alienation, suicide ideation, and substance abuse than do their heterosexual peers. Over a decade of research evidence clearly indicates that educational institutions have a legal, ethical, and professional responsibility to respond appropriately to the urgent health, safety, and educational needs of sexual minority youth (Grace & Wells, 2005, 2009; Wells, 2008). A failure to respond by important adults in the lives of such youth, places vulnerable youth at significant risk and denies them access to important protective factors in their lives.


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