"That's so gay" has been part of the adolescent lexicon for some time, but a new University of Michigan study has revealed the phrase could have deep consequences for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students.
Published in the current issue of the Journal of American College Health, the study reportedly examined the impact of hearing "that's so gay" among 114 LGBT students between the ages of 18 and 25, CBS Detroit is reporting.
The resulting data found that LGBT students who heard the phrase frequently were more likely to feel isolated and experience headaches, poor appetite or eating problems than those who didn't. Still, the study also revealed another troubling statistic: a mere 14 respondents (13 percent) hadn't heard "that's so gay" at all throughout the duration of the survey.
"Given the nature of gay-lesbian-bisexual stigma, sexual minority students could already perceive themselves to be excluded on campus and hearing 'that's so gay' may elevate such perceptions," Michael Woodford, an assistant professor of social work and co-author of the new study, said in a statement. "'That's so gay' conveys that there is something wrong with being gay."
Woodford went on to suggest, "Policies and educational programs are needed to help students, staff and faculty to understand that such language can be harmful to gay students. Hopefully, these initiatives will help to eliminate the phrase from campuses."
In 2007, the phrase was at the epicenter of a controversial lawsuit, after a California teen's parents claimed their daughter's First Amendment rights had been violated after she was disciplined by her high school for uttering the phrase, which "enjoys widespread currency in youth culture," to classmates who were allegedly taunting her for her Mormon upbringing, according to court documents cited by the Associated Press.
Still, retired teacher Rick Ayers, who helped compile and publish the "Berkeley High School Slang Dictionary," told the AP, "I wouldn't be surprised if this girl didn't even know the origin of that term. The kids who get caught saying it will claim it's been decontextualized, but others will say, `No, you know what that means.' It's quite talked about."
Earlier on HuffPost:
Pastor Wooden Says Gay Sex Causes Gay Men To Need Diapers
Bryan Fischer On Why Gays Are Responsible For The Nazi Party
Rick Santorum: Why Gay Marriage Is Like 9/11
Santorum<a href="http://articles.mcall.com/2004-02-25/news/3521981_1_gay-marriage-defense-of-marriage-act-amendment-process" target="_hplink"> is quoted by the <em>Allentown Morning Call</em> as saying in 2004</a>, "This is an issue just like 9/11... We didn't decide we wanted to fight the war on terrorism because we wanted to. It was brought to us. And if not now, when? When the supreme courts in all the other states have succumbed to the Massachusetts version of the law?"
Linda Harvey: Don't Let Gay Doctors Attend To Your Children
Matt Barber: 'No Evidence' Gays Are Targets Of Violence, Discrimination
Stacey Campfield: 'Virtually Impossible' To Contract AIDS Through Heterosexual Sex
Tennessee's GOP State Senator Stacey Campfield <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/26/stacey-campfield-tennessee-senator-dont-say-gay-bill_n_1233697.html" target="_hplink">told HuffPost Gay Voices in January</a>: "Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community -- it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall." "My understanding is that it is virtually -- not completely, but virtually -- impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex...very rarely [transmitted]." "What's the average lifespan of a homosexual? it's very short. Google it yourself."
Kevin McCullough: I Don't Believe You Can Be Gay
Rush Limbaugh On Why Gays Should Be Pro-Life
<a href="http://www.wnd.com/2003/01/16871/" target="_hplink">As quoted by <em>World Net Daily</em></a>: "Imagine we identify the gene -- assuming that there is one, this is hypothetical -- that will tell us prior to birth that a baby is going to be gay. Just like a baby is gonna be redheaded and freckled and maybe tend to be overweight and so we tell the parents that, and the parents say "Nope, don't wanna give birth to that child, [it's] not gonna have a fair chance. Who wants to give birth to an overweight, freckle-faced redhead?" Bam. So we abort the kid. Well, you add to this, let's say we discover the gene that says the kid's gonna be gay. How many parents, if they knew before the kid was gonna be born, [that he] was gonna be gay, they would take the pregnancy to term? Well, you don't know but let's say half of them said, "Oh, no, I don't wanna do that to a kid." [Then the] gay community finds out about this. The gay community would do the fastest 180 and become pro-life faster than anybody you've ever seen. ... They'd be so against abortion if it was discovered that you could abort what you knew were gonna be gay babies."
Scott Lively: Gay-Straight Alliances Are Designed To Recruit Kids
Tamara Scott: Gay Marriage Leads To Eiffel Tower Marriage
Michele Bachmann On Gay Lifestyles
"If you're involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it's bondage," the former Minnesota senator and GOP ex-presidential candidate <a href="http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/michele-bachmanns-top-ten-anti-gay-quotes/politics/2011/06/02/21233" target="_hplink">is quoted as saying in 2004</a>. "It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement."
Tony Perkins: 'If You Want A Military That Just Does Parades,' Allow Gays To Openly Serve
Pat Roberston: 'Demonic Possession' Behind Homosexuality
James Robison: 'The Enemy' Is Using 'Glee' To Destroy America
Newt Gingrich: Gay Marriage A 'Perfect Example Of What I Mean By The Rise Of Paganism'
Daniel Lapin: Gays Should've Been Quarantined To fight AIDS
Pat Robertson Advises Father To Seek Ex-Gay Conversion For Gay Son
Bryan Fischer On How 'Poppers' And Promiscuity Causes AIDS
Liberty Counsel Warns That Macy's LGBT Policy Could Lead To Rape, Sexual Assault
Bryan Fischer: Adolf Hitler Was An 'Active Homosexual'
Alan Osmond: In Defense Of Reparation Therapy
Alan Osmond, who shot to fame in the late 1960s and early '70s as one of The Osmonds, took heat in November <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/alan-osmond-anti-gay-article_n_1084463.html" target="_hplink">for penning an article</a> that some in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) blogsophere deemed homophobic. In his article for<a href="http://thefamily.com/" target="_hplink"> the website The Family</a>, the 62-year-old Osmond brother, who is Mormon, not only argued that being gay is not genetic, but also comes out in defense of "reparation" therapy, which is sought by those seeking to change their sexual orientation: <blockquote>Research has NOT proved that homosexuality is genetic. Even more important, many researchers whose studies have been used to support a biological model for homosexuality have determined that their work has been MISINTERPRETED. What is clear is that homosexuality results from an interaction of social, biological, and psychological factors. These factors may include temperament, personality traits, sexual abuse, familial factors, and treatment by one's peers.</blockquote> Before noting that "treatment success rates that exceed 50 percent," Osmond continued: <blockquote>Developmental factors aside, can individuals diminish homosexual attraction and make changes in their lives? Yes. There is substantial evidence, both historical and current, to indicate this is the case.</blockquote>
Victoria Jackson: Homophobia Is 'Buzzword Of Liberal Agenda'
The former "Saturday Night Live" star and now Tea Party activist sparked national furor when she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/22/victoria-jackson-slams-glee-showbiz-tonight_n_838862.html" target="_hplink">slammed the hit show "Glee" after it featured a kiss between two gay characters</a> in a column for WorldNetDaily. In the column, Jackson wrote in response to an emotional, long awaited kiss between Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss). "Did you see "Glee" this week? Sickening! And, besides shoving the gay thing down our throats, they made a mockery of Christians - again! I wonder what their agenda is? Hey, producers of "Glee" - what's your agenda? One-way tolerance?" She later appeared on "Showbiz Tonight" to clarify her thoughts. "Well, it doesn't matter what I think," Jackson said. "What matters is what the Bible says. And I'm really concerned about our country because immorality is, well, let's see: secular humanism rules the airwaves, and it's stealing the innocence away from this whole generation of children. My daughter is a teenager and I can't find any show that she can watch." With that diatribe, Jackson was asked, based on her remarks, both in the column and in the interview, whether she was homophobic. "That's a cute little buzzword of the liberal agenda," Jackson smirked. "Basically, the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin."
Brett Ratner: Rehearsal 'Is For Fags'
After<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/brett-ratner-gay-slur-apology_n_1080432.html" target="_hplink"> being asked whether he rehearses with his actors </a>before shooting a scene, the "Tower Heist" director Ratner infamously replied, "Rehearsing is for fags." The gaffe, made during a Q&A session following a "Tower Heist" screening in late 2011, seemed questionable even for the sharp-tongued Ratner, who is said to be in talks to direct an adaptation of the Broadway musical "Wicked." One audience member is said to have been so upset by the reference that they immediately left the session. Though he later resigned from co-producer of the 2012 Oscars telecast, he also apologized for the statement: "It was a dumb way of expressing myself," he wrote. "Everyone who knows me knows that I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words."
Ann Coulter Calls John Edwards A 'Faggot'
The right wing commentator raised eyebrows from both U.S. political parties in 2007 when she stated: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I'm - so, kind of at an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards, so I think I'll just conclude here and take your questions."