Young teens usually hang out with friends who are the same gender they are.
But as they reach the mid-teen years, many start having romantic relationships with the opposite sex.
When we talk about major concerns facing LGBTQ youth, we typically discuss topics like bias-based bullying and harassment or familial rejection and homelessness; and when we talk about violence facing the larger LGBTQ community, we typically discuss hate crimes.
In other words, we talk about the violence facing our community from those outside it, from those who are openly homophobic and transphobic, but what about the violence happening within our community?
The limited data available on LGBTQ teen dating violence, however, is cause for concern.
showed significantly higher rates of dating violence among LGB youth than among non-LGB youth.
Most romantic relationships among twelve- and fourteen-year olds last less than five months.
For this group, dating is superficial--for fun, to increase status among peers, and exploring attraction.
Understanding how teen relationships work is the first part of being a supportive parent.Not only does dating violence take place in person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that dating violence can also take place electronically on social media or through text messaging.In one of the only studies on LGBT teens, the Urban Institute reported in 2013 that transgender youth are the most vulnerable to dating violence with 89 percent reporting physical violence, 61 percent reporting sexual coercion and 59 percent reporting emotional abuse.Although transgender youth were under-sampled in the study, these figures are still alarming.LGB youth also showed significantly higher rates of dating violence compared to non-LGB youth.