Monday, April 18, 2011

Study: LGBT kids in supportive communities less likely to attempt suicide

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LGBT flag

It’s needless to point out how obvious it is that LGBT kids who grow up in environments that are more supportive and understanding are less likely to be miserable. And now, here’s a study concluding that gay, lesbian and bisexual youths who grow up in more integrative social environments are about 20% less likely to attempt to commit suicide than those who are stuck in more bigoted areas:

Results Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were significantly more likely to attempt suicide in the previous 12 months, compared with heterosexuals (21.5% vs 4.2%). Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments. A more supportive social environment was significantly associated with fewer suicide attempts, controlling for sociodemographic variables and multiple risk factors for suicide attempts, including depressive symptoms, binge drinking, peer victimization, and physical abuse by an adult (odds ratio: 0.97 [95% confidence interval: 0.96–0.99]).

Factors that are said to help make these kids’ social environments more supportive include the usuals: gay-straight alliance groups and anti-discrimination policies in schools, a more liberal environment in general, and, evidently, the presence of other LGBT individuals and couples around them. In the end, there’s just no better remedy for feeling alone than to actually have people like you who you can relate with.

Although these findings are overly obvious to any rational person, studies like this are useful in part because they provide yet another blow to anti-gay bigots’ claims about how LGBT teens who kill themselves are only doing so because they “know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, is immoral” (to quote as one particular asshat).

(via Joe. My. God.)