Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among youth aged 10 to 14 years, the third among 15 to 24 years, the second among 25 to 34 years.
These data are disturbing, but we know that among LGB youth suicide attempt are even more likely compared with heterosexual peers.
Hatzenbuehler (2011) conducted a research finding that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were signiﬁcantly more likely to attempt suicide compared with heterosexuals, a proportion of 21.5% vs 4.2%.
The data also showed that:
“Among LGB youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in negative environments compared with positive environments (25.47% of LGB living in negative environments attempted suicide at least once versus 20.37% in positive environments). In contrast, among heterosexual youth, the risk of suicide attempts was only 9% greater in negative environments.”
The author created:
“an index of the social environment surrounding LGB youth, which was composed of 5 different items (described in more detail below): (1) proportion of same-sex couples living in the counties; (2) proportion of Democrats living in the counties; (3) proportion of schools with gay-straight alliances; (4) proportion of schools with antibullying policies speciﬁcally protecting LGB students; and (5) proportion of schools with antidiscrimination policies that included sexual orientation.”
Similar measure of LGB climate was found having a strong correlation with LGB adults’ perceptions of how supportive their communities were.
These results imply that the social environment appears to confer risk for suicide attempts over and above individual-level risk factors.
We really need to create more positive environments.
Plus, we need to make sure that Republicans and lunatic fringe Christians don’t make the issue any worse for LGBTQ teens in America.