Although recent societal shifts in many parts of the world have led to an improvement in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, LGBT youth often face discrimination in their primary pursuit—school.

This complex issue is addressed in a new book, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Schooling: The Nexus of Research, Practice, and Policy, edited by professors Stephen Russell, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, and Stacey Horn, Department of Educational Psychology at University of Illinois at Chicago.

“We are excited that this book brings together the latest research and practice from around the world, all focused on improving schools for LGBT students,” says Russell.

Even though school is the place where youth spend a large portion of their time, legal protection and inclusion for LGBT youth is limited in some institutions. This puts many LGBT youth at risk: research shows poor academic performance, mental health issues, and other behaviors are correlated with anti-LGBT school victimization. Another body of research focuses on the characteristics, practices, and policies of schools that create safe and inclusive environments for LGBT students.

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Schooling brings together many strands of research and policy related to the schooling of LGBT youth into a single volume. The 39 contributors come from disparate fields—sociology, public health, education, and others—and from different parts of the world. Topical sections include a summary of current research and promising practices, cutting-edge issues of gender identity in school, global perspectives and models, organizing and advocacy, and new systems of change. The core goal is to advance social justice related to sexual orientation and gender identity in schooling.