LGBT researcher calls for action to combat cyberbullying (podcast)

The co-author of a study on cyberbullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth says more than half of LGBT youth had experienced cyberbulling within the past 30 days.

Iowa State researchers Robyn Cooper and Warren Blumenfeld (Credit: Jaclyn Hansel/Iowa State University)

As fellow CNET blogger Elizabeth Armstrong Moore reported, a recent survey by researchers at Iowa State University found that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth are more likely to experience cyberbullying than their heterosexual counterparts.

The survey found that 54 percent of LGBT youth reported having been cyberbullied within the past 30 days.

Study coauthor Warren Blumenfeld, an associate professor at Iowa State, pointed out during an interview that much of the bullying is taking place in chat rooms but also on social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Many of the young people interviewed want to see these sites employ software and human monitoring "to delete messages that might be considered offensive," Blumenfeld said.

He also said that young people themselves can play a major role in combating bullying. "This is a youth leadership issue," he said in the podcast. Young people "want to see more training developed so that the peer leaders in the schools can be the ones who can act as positive role models to interrupt this kind of behavior in the schools and within the communities and...for the youths themselves to take more responsibility."


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