2017-02-26 23:27:27 UTC
First third or so:
By Rick Nauert PhD
A new research study finds that the implementation of state laws legalizing same-sex marriage was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of suicide attempts among high school students.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers report that an even greater reduction among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents, was discovered.
The findings, published in JAMA Pediatrics, estimate that state-level, same-sex marriage policies were associated with more than 134,000 fewer adolescent suicide attempts per year.
The study compared states that passed laws allowing same-sex marriage through January 2015 to states that did not enact state-level legalization. A Supreme Court decision made same-sex marriage federal law in June of 2015.
The results show the effect that social policies can have on behavior, the researchers say.
“These are high school students so they aren’t getting married any time soon, for the most part,” says study leader Julia Raifman, Sc.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School.
“Still, permitting same-sex marriage reduces structural stigma associated with sexual orientation. There may be something about having equal rights — even if they have no immediate plans to take advantage of them — that makes students feel less stigmatized and more hopeful for the future.”
Suicide is the second most common cause of death among people ages 15 to 24 in the United States (behind unintentional injury). Suicide rates have been rising in the U.S., and data indicate that rates of suicide attempts requiring medical attention among adolescents increased 47 percent between 2009 and 2015.
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students are at particular risk. In the new study, 29 percent of gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students reported attempting suicide in the previous year as compared to six percent of heterosexual teens...