Gay, Lesbian Teens Are More Likely To Suffer Bullying And Violent Attacks, CDC Reports

Posted: Aug 14 2016, 10:08am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 15 2016, 10:27pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Gay, Lesbian Teens are More Likely to Suffer Bullying and Violent Attacks, CDC Reports
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The first national survey reveals that gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents are experiencing horrific levels of violence at school.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students are more likely to suffer depression, bullying, physical and sexual violence than their peers, a latest CDC report suggests. 

Many small-scale studies have also suggested the same in the past, but the issue was not taken seriously until the first national level survey was conducted and helped assess the extent of the problem.

“Tragically, when young people face multiple types of violence or other adverse events in childhood, especially in the absence of support from family, peers and communities, the consequences can be life-threatening.” Dr. Deb Houry, director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control said.

For the study, researchers involved more than 15,000 high school students nationwide and asked them questions about their sexual identity, how other people behave towards them and what kind of impact their behavoir has on them. 

Survey reports that about 8 percent of high school student describe themselves as gay, lesbian and bisexual which makes up roughly 1.3 million students and many of them were facing shocking levels of violance. Report says these adolescents were three times more likely to have been raped than straight students. At least a third had been bullied inside school premises. Plus, they were twice as likely to experience violent attacks as others. 

These students were also at high risk for depression, suicide and even skipping schoold.

More than 40 percent of these students reported having seriously considered suicide and 29 percent said they attempted suicide in the past 12 months. They more often miss school because they don’t feel safe there and this has considerably affected their day to day activities as well.

“I found the numbers heartbreaking,” said Dr. Jonathan Mermin, a senior official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 “Many would find these levels of physical and sexual violence unacceptable and something we should act on quickly.”

Hate and violence against gays and lesbians is worldwide phenomena and many studies suggest that a significant number of gay/ lesbian individuals become victims of violence at some point in their life. CDC suggests more has to be done to protect these people and recommends strategies to change this disturbing trend. 

“Connectedness is key to protecting the health for adolescents," said Mermin. "For parents, peers, teachers and schools and other community organizations should know that students are more likely to thrive in schools and their communities if they know they matter.”

“Solutions may not be simple but we can take action to build support for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth at multiple levels.”


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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