Victimization against Non-Heterosexual Male Adolescents in Bangkok: A Qualitative Study

  • Sakol Sopitarchasak Thai Health Promotion Foundation
  • Ronnapoom Samakkeekarom Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University
  • Teeranee Techasrivichien Department of Global Health and Socio-epidemiology, School of Public Health, Kyoto University
  • S. Pilar Suguimoto Department of Global Health and Socio-epidemiology, School of Public Health, Kyoto University
  • Kanokwan Tharawan Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University
  • Masahiro Kihara Department of Global Health and Socio-epidemiology, School of Public Health, Kyoto University
  • Masako Ono-Kihara Department of Global Health and Socio-epidemiology, School of Public Health, Kyoto University
Keywords: sexual identity, gender identity, non-heterosexual, victimization, male, adolescents

Abstract

This qualitative study explores Bangkok male non-heterosexual high school students’ experience of victimization—being treated unfairly or wrongly in ways that induced physical, social, emotional or psychological harm. Twenty-five in-depth interviews were conducted with purposive sampling of 20 nonheterosexual and five heterosexual male adolescents in June-July 2013. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded and analyzed through thematic analysis with investigator triangulation. We found that non-heterosexual adolescents experienced victimization due to their sexual identity in three major environments: at home, at school and in public. At home, they experienced different levels of rejection from parents ranging from verbal insults to physical assaults such as punching. At school, they encountered occasional bullying and name-calling by intolerant peers. They also reported some teachers insulting their homosexuality and treating them differently, as well as school policies which discriminate against their sexual identity. In public, insulting, name-calling and gossiping from strangers were common. However, respondents also reported that they felt increasing acceptance towards their sexual identity at school and in public in recent years, while perceiving more pressure against their sexual identity at home. Such discrepant pressure between home and school/public might have led to a phenomenon where non-heterosexuals adopt two different personas, one at home and the other at school; some respondents indicated that they have to tone down their personality at home or when parents are around. The negative experiences may also have, arguably, led to internalized stigma for many nonheterosexuals.

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Published
2015-06-30
How to Cite
Sopitarchasak, S., Samakkeekarom, R., Techasrivichien, T., Suguimoto, S. P., Tharawan, K., Kihara, M., & Ono-Kihara, M. (2015). Victimization against Non-Heterosexual Male Adolescents in Bangkok: A Qualitative Study. Social Science Asia, 1(4), 61-76. Retrieved from https://socialscienceasia.nrct.go.th/index.php/SSAsia/article/view/74
Section
Research Article