Study Finds States With Legalized Same-Sex Marriage Have Fewer Teen Suicides

(CBS) — A new study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found states that legalized same-sex marriage have a positive impact on LGBTQ teenagers.

The legal union between two women or two men is only possible in 37 states.

The study tested if state same-sex marriage policies had any affect in the reduction in adolescent suicide attempts. The results showed that states allowing same-sex marriage are seeing fewer suicide attempts by lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers, compared to states without legalized same-sex marriage. CBS Baltimore reports.

Researcher, Julia Raifman, with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says equal rights makes a difference.

“We found that there was a 7 percent reduction in adolescent suicide attempts in the general population, and a person reduction among gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents.”

The study did not look at why the laws resulted in lower suicide rates. Researchers used data from the C.D.C. which does not include transgender teens in their survey.

Suicide is the second leading killer of teenagers in the U.S. according to the Centers of Disease Control, following accidental injury. LGBTQ teens are five time more likely to attempt suicide.

The goal of the study is to prevent teen suicide. The researcher said struggling with sexual orientation during puberty is one of the reasons gay, lesbian and bi-sexual teens attempt suicide.

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