First of Its Kind Study of “Sexual Minority” Youth Finds Them at Risk of Violence

September 02, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

ABC News

According to a recent report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual minority youth experience significantly higher levels of physical and sexual violence and bullying and are at increased risk for suicidal ideation and suicide attempts compared to their heterosexual peers. Sexual minority youth—defined as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or unsure—were among the representative sample of students in grades 9 to 12 who were surveyed for the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which provides the first nationally representative data of its kind. The survey found that sexual minority youth were more than twice as likely as heterosexual youth to experience sexual and physical dating violence, and more than 40 percent reported seriously considering suicide and nearly one in three had attempted suicide in the past year. According to the CDC, these data highlight the issues faced by sexual minority adolescents and should inform efforts to protect them from harm. “This is not only the first time in the nation, this is the first time in the world this kind of study has been conducted, said lead CDC researcher Jonathan Mermin. “If nations are judged by the health and well-being of their children, then what we have here is unacceptable. It is something we should act upon rapidly.”

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