Home> Archive> 2023> Volume 13 Number 6 ( Dec. 2023)
IJSSH 2023 Vol.13(6): 435-443
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2023.V13.1182

Mental Health Disturber: Heteronormativity and LGBTQ+ Students in Mainland China

Yiran Zhao

Abstract—This study examined the relationship between heteronormative school environment and mental health of Chinese LGBTQ+ teenagers. An online questionnaire with 116 valid responses was used to compare mental health condition of LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ students, and one-on-one qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 LGBTQ+ participants on their school experiences. The results of the questionnaire data showed no significant difference between mental health of LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ respondents. For interviews, heteronormativity was showed to be present in various aspects at school, including peer interactions, sexuality education, textbook and teaching, school-based counseling services, dress code, school policies, and infrastructure. Both interviewees from traditional Chinese schools and international schools in China were involved, and a series of differences were found between the two types of schools. This study also provides suggestions for schools and policy makers to create a more inclusive school environment. Future research can further investigate the influence of different school types on heteronormativity.

Index Terms—Heteronormativity, LGBTQ, mental health, China

Yiran Zhao is with Shenzhen College of International Education, No.3, Antoshan Lu 6, Futian District, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, China. E-mail: 2487857944@qq.com (Y.R.Z.)


Cite: Yiran Zhao, "Mental Health Disturber: Heteronormativity and LGBTQ+ Students in Mainland China," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 435-443, 2023.

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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