A report released in the US yesterday found that LGBT teens are more likely to engage in “risky behaviour” including smoking, drinking alcohol and carrying guns, than their heterosexual counterparts.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveyed 156,000 high school students by collating information gathered from student surveys conducted between 2001-2009 from various school districts across the US.
Investigators asked about 76 types of “risky behaviours”, ranging from cycling without a helmet to attempting suicide.
Gay, lesbian and bisexual students reported indulging in riskier behaviour in 50 per cent to 90 per cent of the risk categories.
The study is the largest of its kind conducted by the federal government.
Laura McGinnis, spokeswoman for the Trevor Project – which seeks to prevent suicide among the teen LGBTQ community – said: “Gay, lesbian and bisexual youths are often driven to risky behaviour because they are rejected by their families and other support groups. We’ve known this for years but the research hasn’t been there to back it up.”
Ms McGinnis added that the new data should help increase awareness among policy makers and lead to better training for teachers and other school staff.