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FSD2924 Well-Being of LGBTIQ Youth 2013

The dataset is (C) available for research only (including e.g. Master's, licentiate and doctoral theses). The dataset may not be used for other theses (e.g. Bachelor's or polytechnic theses), for other study purposes (e.g. seminar papers, essays) or teaching.

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Authors

  • Alanko, Katarina (Finnish Youth Research Society. Finnish Youth Research Network)

Keywords

bisexuality, discrimination, discrimination against homosexuals, gender identity, gender minorities, health, homosexuality, mental health, sexual behaviour, sexual health, sexual identity, sexual minorities, sexual orientation, transgender people, transsexual, youth

Abstract

The Well-Being of LGBTIQ Youth survey, conducted jointly by Finnish Youth Research Society and Seta - LGBTI Rights in Finland, charted the well-being of young Finnish lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, and intersex and queer people. The extensive survey was part of the Hyvinvoiva sateenkaarinuori project (Wellbeing of LGBTIQ Youth), funded by the Child and Youth Policy Programme of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Topics studied included gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation and behaviour, relationships, health, experiences of discrimination and violence, and attitudes in the society. The respondents were able to explain their responses in more detail with open-ended responses. The survey was the first survey in Finland to chart sexual orientation and gender diversity of young people.

The respondents were asked about their gender expression and gender identity. Questions investigated whether the respondents identified as a girl/woman, boy/man, or other, what they thought their gender expression was like (masculine, feminine or neither), how they thought others viewed their gender expression, what sex they had been assigned at birth, whether they had any variations of sex development, whether they identified as a trans person, and which categories, if any, best described them (e.g. transgender, transwoman/man, queer or genderblender, cross-dresser).

One topic charted intersex traits and identity, with questions about, for instance, perception of own gender, age when diagnosed with an intersex condition, reactions/attitudes of people to the respondent's intersex identity, and support needed and received. With regard to transvestism/cross-dressing, the respondents were asked, among others, the frequency of the need to dress like the other gender, the age when first broke norms relating to dressing, and with whom had first talked about their possible cross-dresser identity. Relating to experiences of being a trans person, questions charted, for instance, the age when the respondents first noticed that their gender identity did not match the social expectations around them, to whom they were open about their trans identity, their situation in terms of transitioning and sex reassignment, and fear of negative attitudes of other people.

Several questions were asked about sexual orientation. The respondents' sexual orientation and sexual orientation they disclosed to other people were charted as well as romantic and sexual attraction to women, men and queer/trans/other people, changes in sexual attraction, and age when they first became aware of attraction to people of the same sex. The respondents were also asked about, among others, openness about their sexual orientation, attitudes of others, extent to which the respondents had been afraid of negative attitudes/consequences relating to their orientation, and plans to move from the municipality of residence as a result of the attitudes.

Social relationships, health, body image, and eating habits were charted. The questions investigated, for example, length of the longest intimate relationship with the same person, relationship status at the time of the survey, long-term/chronic illnesses or disabilities, perceived healthiness of own habits, help received for issues related to health, satisfaction with weight and different parts of body, and problems related to eating. Mental health and self-esteem were studied with statements about self-worth and feelings, and thoughts in the past two weeks as well as questions about inflicting self-harm and attempting suicide.

Sexual behaviour was surveyed by asking the respondents about sexual experience with girls/women, boys/men, and queer/trans/other people as well as age when first had sex and started a relationship, experiences related to sex and sexuality (e.g. "I have agreed to have sex even though I did not really want to"), sexually transmitted diseases, total number of sex partners, and own behaviour and behaviour of others on the Internet.

Experiences of discrimination and violence were investigated. The questions surveyed, among others, views on the frequency of discrimination of sexual and gender minorities, whether some people had urged or pressured the respondents into acting according to traditional gender expectations, how safe the respondents felt in different situations, and own experiences of bullying, discrimination, and physical and sexual violence. Finally, the respondents were asked about participation and social attitudes as well as thoughts on and hopes for future.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's year of birth, household composition, education level, employment status, mother tongue, membership of ethnic minority and religious community, and gross monthly income as well as type of municipality of residence, major region of residence, and parents' education level and social class.

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