Current Affairs

CDC study finds gay teens are nearly five times as likely to attempt suicide

Nick Duffy August 12, 2016
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A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study has found that LGB teens are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide.

The news comes from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), reporting on a major behavioural survey on sexual identity among teens aged 13 and older.

Among the many findings, the report found that LGB students are still nearly five times as likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals.

It says: “Nationwide, 8.6% of all students; 6.4% of heterosexual students; 29.4% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 13.7% of not sure students had attempted suicide one or more times during the 12 months before the survey.

“2.8% of all students; 2.0% of heterosexual students; 9.4% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and 4.7% of not sure students nationwide had made a suicide attempt that resulted in an injury, poisoning, or overdose that had to be treated by a doctor or nurse.”

Lesbians and bisexual females were found to be more at risk than gay and bisexual men.

However, the study found extreme regional variations. Though the attempted suicide rate for LGB pupils was higher across the entire country, in some less-accepting areas a third of LGB kids have attempted suicide  – compared to less than a fifth in some states.

The study notes: “Across 23 states, the prevalence of having attempted suicide ranged from 3.8% to 9.5% (median: 6.8%) among heterosexual students; from 19.7% to 37.4% (median: 26.5%) among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students; and from 9.4% to 27.8% (median: 18.0%) among not sure students.”

It also found that behaviours such as depression, smoking, drinking and drug abuse were more prevalent in LGB students

LGB students were more likely to be sexually active, but less likely to use a condom.

It says: “The prevalence of being currently sexually active was higher among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students (35.1%) than heterosexual students (30.1%) and not sure students (22.9%)”

Of those who used a condom, “57.8% of the heterosexual students and 47.5% of the gay, lesbian, and bisexual students reported that either they or their partner had used a condom during last sexual intercourse.”

If you have been affected by issues in this article, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit


More: CDC, Gay, LGBT, suicide, Teen, US

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