Teen suicide rates fell as gay marriage was legalized: researchers find

Teen suicide rates fell as gay marriage was legalized: researchers find

Fewer American teens attempted suicide after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was seen among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a new study revealed.

As per available data, suicide is the second-biggest cause of death among American teens, and suicidal behavior is more common among gay, lesbian and bisexual children and adults. A report suggested that nearly 29 per cent of gay, lesbian and bisexual teens reported attempting suicide as compared with 6 per cent of straight teenagers.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health found declines in teen suicide rates in states that approved measured and made laws to allow gays to marry before the U.S. Supreme Court made legalized gay marriage nationwide.

They analyzed data on nearly 700,000 public high school students who took part in government surveys on risky behavior among teens between 1999 and 2015. Around 230,000 of them admitted being gay, lesbian or bisexual. In 32 states, which enacted same-sex marriage laws, overall suicide attempts among teens and gay teens fell 7 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively.

Lead author Julia Raifman added, “There is a need for further research to understand the association between sexual minority rights, stigma and sexual minority health.”

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the JAMA Pediatrics.

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