The Center for Disease Control has released their first findings in a massive study on lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens (or sexual minorities), and the US government agency found shocking data about just how widespread sexual and physical abuse is among this population. Surveying 15,000 students from across the country, advocates hope that the new data is the first step in finding a solution to the specific needs of LGB high schoolers.
“The majority of sexual minority students cope with the transition from childhood through adolescence to adulthood successfully and become healthy and productive adults,” writes the CDC in the report. “However, this report documents that sexual minority students have a higher prevalence of many health-risk behaviors compared with nonsexual minority students.”
- Some 18 percent of LGB students report being physically forced to have sex, compared to 5 percent of heterosexual students.
- LGB students are five times more likely to report illegal drug use than heterosexual students.
- A third of LGB students (34 percent) report being bullied at school and 28 percent report being bullied online. The same statistics for heterosexual students are 19 and 14 percent, respectively.
- More than 1 in 4 LGB students report attempting suicide in the last 12 months, compared to 1 in 16 heterosexual students who reported attempting suicide recently.
- Over 60 percent of LGB students and over 26 percent of heterosexual students report having felt sad and hopeless to the point where he or she stopped participating in routine activities.