Homophobic Bullying and Cyberbullying: Study of a Silenced Problem

J Homosex. 2018;65(5):672-686. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2017.1333809. Epub 2017 Jul 6.


Bullying and cyberbullying have been studied extensively. In lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning (LGBQ) students, these phenomena seem to be overrepresented so that, although they share some common elements, homophobic bullying and cyberbullying could be considered as specific phenomena. This study analyzed homophobic bullying and cyberbullying, with the participation of 533 Spanish secondary school students aged from 12 to 20 (M = 14.9, SD = 1.7). The results showed that students identified as non-heterosexual experienced a higher level of being targeted with bullying and cyberbullying, almost one half of them declaring that they had been victimized and more than 20% cybervictimized. Many stated they had suffered both kinds of harassment. In addition, the prevalence of all kinds of bullying was higher among non-heterosexual students. Regression analyses showed that sexual orientation could be considered a risk factor for suffering these aggressions. We discuss results in relation to previous research and look at their practical implications.

Keywords: Bullying; LGBQ; cyberbullying; cybervictimization; homophobia; multivictimization; school violence; sexual minority; victimization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bullying* / statistics & numerical data
  • Crime Victims
  • Female
  • Homophobia*
  • Homosexuality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult