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LGBT teens more than 4 times as likely to attempt suicide: CDC

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LGBT teens - suicide

LGBT teens more than 4 times as likely to attempt suicide: CDC

LGBT teens - suicide
We know that facing adolescence is hard. However, a recent survey noted that in their quest to find acceptance and themselves nowadays, LGBT teens are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide as compared to their straight counterparts.

In their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made this finding based on their survey of major behaviors based on sexual identity among youth aged 13 years and older.

A report on LGBT teens today

The report noted that nationwide, 42.8 percent of gay, lesbian, or bisexual students had seriously considered attempting suicide as compared to 14.8 percent of heterosexual students.

This was higher for female students who were lesbian and bisexual (46.6 percent) as compared to their straight counterparts (19.6 percent). For male students, it was higher for gay and bisexual students as well (32.7 percent) compared to 10.6 percent of heterosexual students.

Likewise, the report said that: “The prevalence of having attempted suicide was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students (29.4 percent) than heterosexual students (6.4 percent) and not sure students (13.7 percent) and higher among not sure students (13.7 percent) than heterosexual students (6.4 percent).”

“Among female students, the prevalence [of having attempted suicide] was higher among lesbian and bisexual students (32.8 percent) than heterosexual students (8.4 percent) and not sure students (11.7 percent). Among male students, the prevalence was higher among gay and bisexual students (19.4 percent) and not sure students (16.0 percent) than heterosexual students (4.5 percent),” the report added.

Other behaviours of LGBT teens

Not surprisingly, LGBT teens also scored higher with regard to violence-related risk behaviors like smoking, drinking, and sex.

“Across the 18 violence-related risk behaviors nationwide, the prevalence of 16 [violence-related risk behaviors] was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students than heterosexual students and the prevalence of 15 was higher among students who had sexual contact with only the same sex or with both sexes than students who had sexual contact with only the opposite sex,” the report stated.

“Across the 13 tobacco use-related risk behaviors, the prevalence of 11 [tobacco use-related risk behaviors] was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students than heterosexual students and the prevalence of 10 was higher among students who had sexual contact with only the same sex or with both sexes than students who had sexual contact with only the opposite sex,” it added.

“Similarly, across the 19 alcohol or other drug use-related risk behaviors, the prevalence of 18 [alcohol or other drug use-related risk behaviors] was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students than heterosexual students and the prevalence of 17 was higher among students who had sexual contact with only the same sex or with both sexes than students who had sexual contact with only the opposite sex,” the report said.

A behavioral survey on American teens

The CDC study is based on their Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), which looks at six categories of priority health-related behaviors “that contribute to the leading causes of mortality and morbidity among youth and adults in the United States.”

These range from “behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence” to activities like smoking and drinking, as well as sexual behaviors.

“These behaviors frequently are interrelated and are established during childhood and adolescence and extend into adulthood,” the study noted.

The YRBSS summarizes the results from a 2015 national survey, 25 state surveys, and 19 large urban school district surveys of students in grades 9-12.

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