Bisexual young people most likely to experience sexual harassment

by Just Like Us
September 2022

A photo of young people

Bisexual young people face disproportionate levels of sexual harassment, according to independent research by Just Like Us.

The Growing up LGBT+ report found that one in ten (10%) of bisexual young people had experienced unwanted sexual touching – higher than any other LGBT+ demographic surveyed.

Alarmingly, this figure rose to 12% for bisexual girls.

In comparison, some 6% of pansexual and lesbian young people, and 5% of gay boys, have also experienced unwanted sexual touching. 

Bisexual young people face disproportionate levels of sexual harassment

These figures were higher than those of their non-LGBT+ peers, with 4% of heterosexual girls and 1% of heterosexual boys saying they had experienced sexual harassment. 

The research comes from Just Like Us’ Growing Up LGBT+ report, an independent study of 2,934 pupils aged 11-18 (1,140 of whom were LGBT+) across the UK, carried out between December 2020 and January 2021.

Bi visibility in schools

The report also surveyed school staff about LGBT+ inclusive education, finding issues when it comes to the visibility of bisexual staff members.

Just 11% of bi staff are out at school, almost five times less than gay male staff members (51%). This figure was 42% for lesbian staff, while transgender staff are even less likely still to be out at school (8%).

Bisexual young people and mental health

In addition, the report found that bisexual young people are among the most likely to reported that their mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of bisexual young people felt that their mental health had got worse since the pandemic, higher than the average of 68% of LGBT+ young people, and second only to young lesbians (78%).