WASHINGTON D.C – According to a study conducted by the Journalists Resource Organization, there are almost 1.3 million lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) high school students in the United States, according to the first nationwide survey measuring their numbers and attitudes toward risk. These students – about 8 percent of the total – are nearly five times more likely than their straight peers to have attempted suicide and more than four times more likely to have experimented with hard drugs like heroin and meth.
Another half a million high school students are not sure about their sexual orientation, according to the study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Several of the study’s authors flagged the survey in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. They used a nationally representative sample of 15,624 public and private high school students in grades nine through 12 who completed an anonymous and voluntary questionnaire. According to their write-up in JAMA:
“Compared with their straight peers, LGB students reported a significantly higher prevalence of being bullied at school (34.2 percent vs 18.8 percent), experiencing electronic bullying (28.0 percent vs 14.2 percent), being forced to have sexual intercourse (17.8 percent vs 5.4 percent), experiencing physical dating violence (17.5 percent vs 8.3 percent), and experiencing sexual dating violence (22.7 percent vs 9.1 percent). Students who were not sure of their sexual identity also reported higher rates of all of these behaviors than their straight peers.”
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