A study in the journal Pediatrics says that gay, lesbian and bisexual youth who live in supportive communities are less likely to attempt suicide than those youth who live in communities who do not support gay rights.
The Oregon Healthy Teens Survey was completed by 31,852 11th graders from 2006 to 2008 and then compared to the social environment in each of the 34 counties. Researchers looked at the proportion of same-sex couples, the proportion of registered Democrats – who tend to be more supportive of gay rights – the presence of gay-straight alliances in schools and anti-discrimination, anti-bullying policies that protect lesbian, gay and bisexual students.
According to researchers, the risk of attempting suicide in unsupportive environments was 20 percent greater than in supportive environments.
"A more supportivesocial environment was significantly associated with fewer suicideattempts, controlling for sociodemographic variables and multiplerisk factors for suicide attempts, including depressive symptoms,binge drinking, peer victimization, and physical abuse by anadult," according to Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D., the study's author.
For access to the study, please visit, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2010-3020v1