Rutgers School of Public Health Dean and director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies, Dr. Perry N. Halkitis, has published an op-ed on sexual assault of LGBTQ people.
According to Dr. Halkitis, the issue of sexual harassment in the LGBT population has, for the most part, been unchecked and improperly punished in two ways.
First, there is potential covering that occurs within the LGBT population out of concern that uncovering these behaviors will place another burden on an already burdened population, making it more susceptible to hate from others.
Second, sexual harassment and sexual behavior within the LGBT population cannot be understood using a heterosexual male-perpetrating-female perspective, leading many LGBT people to feel excluded from these conversations and in turn remaining silent. Thus, in order to develop effective programming that ameliorates the prevalence of sexual harassment by and at LGBT people, we must keep these potential drivers in mind.
Dr. Halkitis provides several options to help effectively address the issue of sexual assault in and by the LGBTQ community:
“In the end, in order to address issues of harassment in the LGBT population, we must be more than culturally competent and we must tailor programming to the population. In the absence of such a nuanced and attentive and integrated approach to understanding our lives, sexual harassment will be another health disparity that burdens the LGBT population,” comments Dean Halkitis. “More importantly, young and vulnerable individuals, who are already dealing with the hate and homophobia of society, will fall prey to insidious LGBT people in power who will take advantage of them and the apathy of institutions which permit these behaviors to go unchecked.”
“#UsToo: Sexual Assault and Rape of (and by) LGBTQ People” was published in The Good Men Project.