A new study out of the University of British Columbia says in the last 15 years, teenagers who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual are not as likely to play sports compared to youth who are straight.
UBC School of Nursing Professor Elizabeth Saewyc says the study was province-wide and looked at the B.C. adolescence survey.
Saewyc says they’ve already seen a decline in sports involvement for everybody, but for LGB teens the number was even sharper.
“What we found, is that in 1998 for example, about half of gay students participated in sports with a coach, the formal sports, but by 2013 that dropped to only three in 10.”
She says it’s still not possible to explain why they’re not joining sports.
“The challenge of course, is that we still don’t have any out lesbian, gay or bisexual hockey players, or in some of the major sports, and pro athletes, there aren’t as many people who are out and visible as role models.”
Saewyc says women in professional sports have been more ‘out’ in soccer and tennis, but female sports aren’t covered as much in the media.
She also says that LGB students are more likely to experience discrimination and bullying than their peers in all aspects of their life, not just sports.
Saewyc was a guest on the Jill Bennett Show.