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Gay And Straight Teen Suicide Attempts Higher In Conservative Regions

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Researcher: Gay-Straight Alliances Key To Reducing Teen Suicide Attempts

Gay and straight teens who live in socio-politically conservative areas are more likely to attempt suicide, and the degree of an area’s political conservatism reflects the degree teens — gay or straight — are likely to attempt suicide. Conversely, the rate at which teens attempt suicide decreases with the more liberal an area is, defined by the number of Democrats and same-sex couples, along with gay-straight alliances, and anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies that specifically protect lesbian, gay, and bisexual students in schools, according to a new study by psychologist Mark Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D., of Columbia University.

The ground-breaking study, published in the journal Pediatrics today, shows that gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens are more than five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. The study also showed that straight teens were 9% more likely to attempt suicide when living in the most conservative areas, compared to teens living in the most liberal areas.


Hatzenbuehler says it’s important to “create these environments for gay youth health,” because the study proves that “if you care about the health of gay youth, you are improving the health of straight youth, too.”

 


 

Hatzenbuehler conducted this study of 31,852 high school students in Oregon, by examining health surveys given from 2006-2008, to three-years worth of 11th grade students. Of note is that the study finds that 4.4% of the teens identified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, similar to (albeit just slightly higher than) a recent study by The Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law, “How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?,” which showed that close to 4% of the American adult population identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

In the study’s Pediatrics abstract, Hatzenbuehler writes, “Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth were significantly more likely to attempt suicide in the previous 12 months, compared with heterosexuals (21.5% vs 4.2%). Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments compared to supportive environments. A more supportive social environment was significantly associated with fewer suicide attempts, controlling for sociodemographic variables and multiple risk factors for suicide attempts, including depressive symptoms, binge drinking, peer victimization, and physical abuse by an adult.”

Read: September’s Anti-Gay Bullying Suicides – There Were A Lot More Than 5

Dr. Hatzenbuehler, whose “research on the impact of social policies on mental health disparities in LGB populations has been cited in an amicus brief for the California Supreme Court’s decision on Prop 8,” according to his bio at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yale University.

I spoke with Dr. Hatzenbuehler today by phone and asked him how his study could help real-world teens and their families with the challenges they face. He tells me his hope is that his study will be used as “a roadmap for reducing suicides for LGBT youth.” He stressed that “gay-straight alliances and anti-bullying policies can have important beneficial mental health consequences,” contrary to recent attempts by some conservatives to limit or eliminate gay-straight alliances.

I asked Hatzenbuehler what he might say in response to detractors who blame the Left for suggesting to LGBT teens that they are more susceptible to suicide attempts. Dr. Hatzenbuehler says his study proves the exact opposite is true, that it “challenges those ideas that suicidal behavior is inherent to gay youth,” and that a conservative socio-political environment “strongly contributes to suicide rate numbers.”

But Hatzenbuehler also reminds us that, while LGBT teen suicide attempts are problematic, “the vast majority — 80% — of gay teens aren’t attempting suicide.”

Read: “Perkins: Homosexuality Is “Abnormal,” Drives Gay Teens To Suicide

I also asked Dr. Hatzenbuehler how he might respond to comments made from those, like Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, who on Friday, and at other times, claimed that in Massachusetts, when same-sex marriage became legal, we did not see a decrease in gay teen suicide.

Hatzenbuehler says that studies show “LGB individuals living in states that passed gay marriage bans experienced an increase in psychiatric disorders,” when those bans went into place.

Bottom line, Hatzenbuehler says it’s important to “create these environments for gay youth health,” because the study proves that “if you care about the health of gay youth, you are improving the health of straight youth, too.”

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Watch: America, We Just Got Our First Openly-Gay Active NFL Player

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America, meet your first openly-gay, active NFL player.

Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib, 28, in an Instagram video announced he is gay, HuffPost reports.

“What’s up people, I’m Carl Nassib. I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania,” Nassib says. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but, I finally feel comfortable now to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.”

He also says he’s donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which works to help young LGBTQ youth in crisis or feeling suicidal.

 

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A post shared by Carl Nassib (@carlnassib)

“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention,” Nassib adds. “I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America, and they’re truly doing incredible things, and I’m very excited to be a part of it, to help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”

In one of the several text images on that post Nassib explains why this is so important:

Developing…

 

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Trump Cabinet Secretary Set Up a $300 Million Offshore Company in the Caymans — While Still in Office

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According to a report from the HuffPost, former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was busy attending to his own financial well-being while serving under Donald Trump — raking in at least $53 million and starting up a new business in the Cayman Islands.

Ross, who was recently accused of creating “an environment of paranoia and retaliation” at Commerce, was working on the taxpayers’ dime while keeping his business deals ongoing during his tenure.

The HuffPost reports, “Ross reported making somewhere between $53 million and $127 million during his four years as head of the Commerce Department. The federal government only requires officials to report broad ranges of outside income,” before adding, “Ross’ many and profitable entanglements with private companies while he was supposed to be looking out for the American taxpayer triggered concern and criticism.”

The report goes on to note that Ross’s Commerce duties didn’t stop him from setting up a new offshore business.

“Ross is already engaged in a new enterprise, a special purpose acquisition company that reportedly attracted $300 million from investors. He established the company in the Cayman Islands in January while he was still in public office, ” the report states.

During his time in the Donald Trump’s cabinet, Ross faced multiple complaints about his business dealings, with CREW accusing him “possible insider trading and other violations when he reportedly shorted Navigator stock after learning that a negative story was coming out in The New York Times about his links to the company,” among other ethical issues.

You can read more here.

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Brothers of White Nationalist Congressman Apologize for His False Claim Insurrectionist Was ‘Executed’ by Police

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Two brothers of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) went on national TV Thursday to apologize for his accusation this week that Capitol Police were “lying in wait” and “executed” a Trump insurrectionist, 35-year old QAnon believer Ashli Babbitt, on January 6.

“On behalf of the actual sane members of our family, which is everyone but Paul, we apologize,” they said on CNN, to D.C. Officer Michael Fanone for their brother’s “despicable comments and disgraceful conduct through this whole incident.”

On Tuesday during a hearing on the January 6 insurrection Gosar, a white nationalist, demanded FBI Director Chris Wray release the name of the officer who killed Babbitt. Babbitt was attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby, a hallway in the Capitol just outside the House Chamber.

Calling her killing “disturbing,” Gosar told Wray in front of cameras that Babbitt was “executed,” which is false.

“The Capitol Police officer that did that shooting appeared to be hiding, lying in wait and then gave no warning before killing her,” which is also false.

Gosar is one of the leading members of Congress who have promoted Donald Trump’s “big lie,” that the election was stolen from him.

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