Stephen T. Sexual orientation has been a debated risk factor for adolescent suicidality over the past 20 years. This study examined the link between sexual orientation and suicidality, using data that are nationally representative and that include other critical youth suicide risk factors. Survey logistic regression was used to control for sample design effects. There is a strong link between adolescent sexual orientation and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The strong effect of sexual orientation on suicidal thoughts is mediated by critical youth suicide risk factors, including depression, hopelessness, alcohol abuse, recent suicide attempts by a peer or a family member, and experiences of victimization. The findings provide strong evidence that sexual minority youths are more likely than their peers to think about and attempt suicide. Sexual orientation has emerged as a muchdebated risk factor for adolescent suicide in recent years. It is commonly believed that the difficulties of dealing with the stigma of homosexuality might lead to depression and even suicide among gay men and lesbians; this may be particularly heightened during adolescence, when emerging sexuality becomes a central issue in young lives.
1. Teens who are “different” are at higher risk for bullying.
It has been 45 years since the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and removed it from the DSM, yet the need to explain that sexuality is neither a disorder nor a choice persists. Moving away from classifying sexuality as a mental disorder has allowed the health professions to better address the health needs of LGBT people. Conversion therapy perpetuates outdated views of gender roles and identities as well as the negative stereotype that being a sexual or gender minority or identifying as LGBTQ is an abnormal aspect of human development. Most importantly, it may put young people at risk of serious harm. While this harm may sometimes be physical e. According to research compiled by The Trevor Project ,. Although the statistics are discouraging, there are changes afoot that are currently helping these at-risk youth or have promise for the near future. Societal views on LGBT people are evolving from intolerance to tolerance to acceptance which, in turn, creates a safer environment for young people and their emerging sexuality.
What are the causes and how can we help?
Harold S. Koplewicz, MD. Eighteen-year-old Tyler Clementi, year-old Billy Lucas, and year-olds Asher Brown and Seth Walsh were living in different corners of America—New Jersey, Indiana, Texas, and California—but each of them was subjected to the same kind of intolerance and cruelty, including a callous violation of their online privacy.
Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, LGB youth are happy and thrive during their adolescent years. Having a school that creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and having caring and accepting parents are especially important. Positive environments can help all youth achieve good grades and maintain good mental and physical health. However, some LGB youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience negative health and life outcomes. For youth to thrive in schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported. A positive school climate has been associated with decreased depression, suicidal feelings, substance use, and unexcused school absences among LGB students. Compared with other students, negative attitudes toward LGB persons may put these youth at increased risk for experiences with violence. Exposure to violence can have negative effects on the education and health of any young person and may account for some of the health-related disparities between LGB and heterosexual youth.