Research suggests rate drops from five in 10 gay youth not taking part in 1998

Gay, bisexual teens half as likely as straight teens to play sports: UBC study

Research suggests rate drops from five in 10 gay youth not taking part in 1998, down to three in 10 in 2013.

Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens are half as likely to play sports as straight youth – a trend that has been getting worse for 15 years, a group of UBC professors has found.

In a first-of-its-kind study released Wednesday, researchers found that five out of 10 gay students in grades 7 to 12 played on sports teams in 1998. That’s compared to three out of 10 gay students in 2013.

“In every year we measured, LGB youth were about half as likely, or even less, to participate in coached sports than straight youth were,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, senior author of the study and a nursing professor who leads the Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre at UBC. “And unfortunately, that gap has persisted and even widened over time.”

The same decline in participation was found for lesbian and bisexual teens.

The study used responses from the BC Adolescent Health Survey of 99,373 kids, and looked at official sports as well as informal sports like pick-up games.

Other rates, like that of young people participating in informal sports, dropped amongst all young people – but by the most in teens of minority sexual orientations.

While the research can’t explain the specific reason for the gap between straight and gay youth, Saewyc said, it’s likely the stigma and discrimination in sports clubs play a role.

Getting more teens playing sports is crucial so they can grow up being active adults, said study co-author Annie Smith, McCreary’s executive director, and maintain their mental and physical health.

Inclusiveness in sports is needed, the study notes, given that gay, lesbian and bisexual teens are more prone to depression and suicide.

“The decline in participation in both informal and coached sports tells us that there should be a range of exercise opportunities for young people who may not want to play traditional team sports,” McCreary added.

The researchers suggest that sports programs address the specific needs of gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens, and that parents, coaches, and educators receive training to navigate issues of homophobia and inclusion.


@ashwadhwaniashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vehicle of missing Maple Ridge man is found in Abbotsford

Barrie Holt, 63, is also known to frequent Chilliwack area

UPDATE: Vehicle located and driver arrested in relation to fatal hit-and-run

Male pedestrian in his 50s died after being struck by vehicle on Highway 11 in Abbotsford

Incumbents in Abbotsford ridings heavily outspending challengers on Facebook

Liberal Jati Sidhu, the incumbent in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, has spent the most, by far

Cascades goal scoring king leading UFV to playoffs

Abbotsford Soccer Association product Gurmaan Jhaj establishes new goal mark

ELECTION HUB: Candidate profiles, voter information and news for Abbotsford’s ridings

We’ve collected our election coverage in one spot to help you decide who to vote for

YouTube video of Revelstoke grizzly bear goes viral

Why did the grizzly bear cross the railway tracks?

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Man charged in South Surrey torched-SUV killing granted bail

Harjot Singh Deo, arrested in May, was released from custody last week

Most Read