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Sweet, Sweeter, Sweetest: reading project helps with LGB acceptance

09 December 2022

Research shows that a part of the LGB (lesbian, homosexual, and bisexual) youths are still not doing well, because of the way that people in their environment think of and react to sexual diversity. Often, the reactions are negative and they can entail bullying, discrimination, tasteless jokes, and unpleasant comments. That is why researchers Di ana van Bergen and Sanne Parlevliet from the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences started a research project on sexual diversity at secondary schools with the fitting name Sweet, Sweeter, Sweetest. Through the project, they want to make a positive impact on LGB youths.

With the reading intervention Sweet, Sweeter, Sweetest, the researchers give secondary school pupils an insight into the mind of peers in love—being in love in a way that they themselves might have experienced before, but mostly being in love with someone from the same gender. This way, they want to get pupils thinking about sexual diversity in a positive and relatable way.

In this video, Diana van Bergen, Sanne Parlevliet, and Elise Stiekema provide an insight into the how and why of the study, the working method, and the results.

The project is done in collaboration with 113 Suicide Prevention and is part of the National Agenda Suicide Prevention.

Purple Friday

9 December is Purple Friday. On this day, extra attention is paid to the acceptance and inclusion of everybody, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. That is why the Academy building of the UG will light up purple today, and we encourage everyone to wear something purple. This way, we try to bring attention to our LGBTQIA+ community and its diversity that enriches our University and society!

Zero tolerance

It is very important to the UG that the University provides a safe environment in which students and staff are not afraid to be themselves. The UG has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to unacceptable behaviour, but it is also still a learning organization in the areas of diversity and inclusion. It is therefore important that we listen to each other, learn from each other, and respond appropriately to reports of discrimination.

In order to help make this happen, our Office for Diversity & Inclusion is working on new and old policies to ensure that the UG becomes an increasingly safer environment for everyone. The D&I office works in collaboration with various advice groups at all faculties and aims to make sure that staff members and students of all sexualities and gender identities feel at home and connected to others.


If you do have negative experiences, it is important that you are able to share this with someone you trust, such as a peer, study advisor, or lecturer. If you consider filing a report, you can contact the confidential advisor. They can support and assist you with filing a formal complaint or report.

If you have psychological problems related to sexual orientation or gender identity, you can talk to the student psychologist.

Are you considering suicide or are you worried about someone in your environment? You can anonymously call or chat anonymously with 113, at no cost.

Last modified:09 December 2022 6.56 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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