Lgbtq Youth Suicide

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Suicide and Bullying Among LGBTQ Youth Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24 (CDC). Students who fall into the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning identity groups report being five times as more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe after being bullied because of their sexual orientation. LGB youth are 4 times more likely, and questioning youth are 3 times more likely, to attempt suicide as their straight peers (CDC). Nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt (Grossman and D’Augelli). It is impossible to know the exact suicide rate of LGBTQ youth because sexuality and gender minorities…show more content…
This stress often leads them to negative psychological and social outcomes, which leads them to commit suicide. Previous studies have established that a majority of suicide attempts by LGB youth followed a personal awareness of same-sex attraction, but also occurred previous to revealing their sexual orientation to family, friends, or other people (D’Augelli et al., 2001). Regardless of sexual orientation, suicidal ideation often precedes a suicide attempt or completed suicide, and a past history of suicide attempt is the highest risk factor for future attempts and completions (Lewinsohn, Rohde, & Seeley, 1996). The extent to which bullying influences suicidal ideation is unclear, though evidence suggests a strong relationship is likely. A survey conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN, 2011) revealed that more than 80% of LGBTQ students from across the United States were verbally harassed at school and 38% were physically harassed specifically because of their sexual orientation. School victimization has been linked to a host of negative outcomes for LGBT youth, including poorer academic achievement, poor emotional health, refusal to go to school, and suicidal ideation (Russell, Ryan, Toomey, Diaz,& Sanchez, 2011; Szalcha & Westheimer, 2006). Though few studies have examined suicidality among transgender youth, Grossman and D’Augelli (2007) examined…show more content…
In conclusion, the circumstances and conditions that lead an individual to commit suicide are extremely complex. However, with LGBTQ youth, understanding the dynamic of societal and familial conditions that are consistent among reported incidents of suicide or attempted suicide in this group is crucial for prevention. It is our culture’s intolerance of homosexuality, which is often violent, that leads many teens to consider suicide and an alarming number to take their own lives. The popular assumption that an LGBTQ individual is inherently at risk for suicide is evidence of our culture’s inability to understand or accept differences in sexual orientation or sexual expression. Our intolerance is reflected in the incidents where these people are targeted and bullied because of their perceived sexual orientation or because they do not conform to accepted gender expectations. In being seen as different and as challenging a societal norm, they are often ostracized and discriminated against. Therefore, in an investigation into the higher rate of suicide among LGBTQ youth, people should not look to them for the cause, but to themselves and their stigmatization of the LGBTQ youths because people perceive them as “different from
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