A survey of more than 9,000 students has found that gay teenagers are more likely than their straight peers to be affected by depression, suicide and self-harm.

The research, conducted by the University of Auckland on behalf of the Youth 07 Wellbeing Survey, also found that gay students report higher levels of bullying and discrimination and are less likely to have safe sex.

Dr Simon Denny, principal investigator for the survey, said: “The Youth ’07 findings show significant gaps between the health and wellbeing of same-sex and opposite-sex-attracted youth.

“Less than half of same-sex attracted males reported using condoms in their last sexual encounter, and this is reflected in the fact that same-sex attracted youth are more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection, he added.

“Three times as many same-sex attracted youths reported bullying and intimidation than their opposite-sex attracted counterparts. The figures are very concerning.”

It was found that although suicide rates among teenagers had remained the same since the last youth survey in 2001, numbers decreased among straight teenagers.