Social Environment Linked to Gay Teen Suicide Risk

Reuters released a recent article detailing a new study that “found lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth are less likely to attempt suicide when surrounded by a supportive social environment.” A survey was disseminated to 11th grade students in 34 counties in Oregon.

Mark Hatzenbuehler is the study’s author, Social Environment Linked to Gay Teen Suicide Risk, noted that about 22 LGB teens out of every hundred attempted suicide last year compared to 4 of every hundred who identified as straight.

The authors found that LGB teens living in environments that scored poorly on the measurements of were 20% more likely to have attempted suicide than teens from high-scoring social environments.

The measurements included in the study were:

  • The proportion of same-sex couples living there
  • The county’s percentage of registered Democrats
  • The proportion of schools in the area that had gay-straight alliances and anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies.

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