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A supportive family environment makes LGBTQ children less likely to be victims of bullying, acording to a UK-based study out of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

Researchers examined data on members of the LGBTQ community. The average age of the participants was 37, and they were asked to recall experiences from school and in the workplace.

Analysis suggests gay and bisexual men were 31 per cent less likely to be bullied in school if they were from a supportive family. Lesbian and bisexual women were 25.6 per cent less likely to be bullied.

“Family acceptance seems to be crucial to ensure that LGB children develop a healthy sense of self while family rejection of LGB children can negatively affect their identity and well-being,” Nick Drydakis, Professor in Economics at ARU, said in a statement. 

“Parents who have supported their children during difficult times might have taught them the appropriate attitudes and approaches to address homophobia as well as its adverse effects.”

Family support had a lesser impact in the workplace, where it was associated with a 12.5 per cent reduction in bullying for men and a 4.6 per cent reduction for women.

The study has been published in the International Journal of Manpower.

Previous research

The findings align with previous research into on-the-job bullying of LGBTQ professionals in the UK.

A July survey compiled by the Institute of Physics, the Royal Astronomy Academy, and the Royal Society of Chemistry suggests that close to a third of physical scientists from the LGBTQ+ community in the UK have considered quitting their jobs due to the work environment.

For their report, researchers interviewed more than 600 STEM professionals in several industries across the UK. Most respondents identified as LGBTQ+, but a minority of cis-gender, heterosexual respondents were included.

About 18 per cent of LGBTQ scientists reported workplace harassment, bullying, or exclusionary behaviour, compared to 10 per cent of non-LGBTQ scientists.

Approximately 75 per cent of LGBTQ+ respondents reported feeling “comfortable” at work, while 70 per cent felt their situation was improving overall — but close to half of all respondents (49 per cent) agreed there was an overall lack of awareness of LGBT+ issues in the workplace.