Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., 24 May launched the ‘LGBTI+ Youth in Ireland Europe: A two-phased Landscape and Research Gap Analysis’.
The research, conducted jointly by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) and NUI Galway reviewed all relevant research on LGBTI+ youth in Ireland and Europe since 2000.
The research found that:
- Some objectives of the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy are well supported by research, but there are important gaps in the research evidence that need to be addressed.
- Future research needs to include both LGBTI+ young people and their sources of support – families, teachers and youth workers
- We need to know more about how to improve well-being and resilience among LGBTI+ youth, not just focus on risks and negative outcomes
- There is not enough high quality research on transgender and intersex youth; more evidence is needed to know how best to improve their lives.
Speaking at the launch of the analysis, Roderic O’Gorman T.D., Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said:
“It is clear to see that there is a large amount of evidence to support our objectives in the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy, in particular the importance creating supportive environments for LGBTI+ young people in schools and colleges, and on LGBTI+ young people’s experiences of bullying.
“But, there are also research gaps with regard to other important issues. We don’t know enough about the lives of transgender and intersex young people, about the views of parents and families of LGBTI+ young people and how to support them better, or about developing inclusive work environments for LGBTI+ young people. These are all issues of the highest importance and we must find a way to address these research gaps.”
The report was led by researchers Dr András Költő, Dr Elena Vaughan, Dr Colette Kelly and Professor Saoirse Nic Gabhainn from the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway, with Dr Linda O’Sullivan from DCEDIY and Professor Elizabeth Saewyc from the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Commenting on the findings, Lead Author Dr András Költő said:
“Most research on LGBTI+ young people is from North America, so it was important to review evidence relevant to the Irish and European context. We also documented the gaps in our understanding of LGBTI+ young people. Initiatives to improve the lives of LGBTI+ young people must be based on high quality scientific evidence, and our report clearly indicates where more research is needed. Future research needs to consider the positive aspects of LGBTI+ young people’s lives, involve their families, teachers and youth workers, and monitor initiatives to help ensure positive outcomes.”