Suicide rates are twice as high among gay youth – and here’s why

Suicide rates are twice as high among gay youth – and here’s why
Photo by Fernando Cabral from Pexels

‘Conversion therapy’ and religious leaders are reported to be the main causes. Research shows that young people who were made to go through ‘conversion therapy’ are exposed to a higher chance of suicide. The chance of them attempting suicide multiple times is 2.5 higher.

The research was conducted by The Trevor Project. It is one of the organizations preventing suicide among LGBT+ people.

On July 8th, an article on the topic was published. According to it, high suicide rates among LGBT+ youth is heavily connected to the ‘conversion therapy’.

It is found that those who have gone through the ‘curing’ procedures are more likely to have attempted suicide in 2019. The numbers are shocking – for gay youth, rates are twice-and-a-half higher.

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But there’s more to it. It seems like these ‘therapies’ aren’t a relic of the 20th century, but a used practice. Turns out, up to 7% of the young gays have gone through it.

As it sometimes is, religion is involved. The study confirmed that in almost 81% the person who conducted the hideous procedure was a religious leader.

The good thing is that the risks are not universal.

It was discovered that youth from low-income families are more likely to get treated. Other ‘risk groups’ are youth from the South, young people from religious anti-LGBT+ families, transgender/non-binary youth, and those of Hispanic or Latinx origin.

An unconditional risk factor

Coming back to The Trevor Project, here is its director comment. Dr Amy Green says that the addressed study is the first of its kind. It examines how ‘conversion therapy’ affects LGBT+ youth. Among the clear results is the fact that this ‘therapy’ increases suicide rates and affects mental health negatively.

She then adds that it must be the top priority to protect LGBT+ youth, both their mental and physical state.

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If asked, every leading health worker or organization would deem ‘conversion therapy’ as dangerous.

In the United States, such leading organizations are the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association.

Finally, the lawmakers starting to grasp the problem.

The so-called therapy has already been banned in twenty American states. And the list is growing.

Joe Biden, the candidate for the presidency from the Democrats, promised to ban the ‘conversion therapy’ completely. That is if he wins the election.

But, disregarding the US president, 2020 is predicted to possibly be the breakthrough year in the fight against ‘conversion therapy’.

As for the other parts of the world, ‘therapy’ is banned only in five countries. These are Germany and Malta in Europe, Taiwan in Asia, Brazil, and Ecuador in South America.

However, some more countries are considering banning the practice. Most of the European – the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland. Also, Australia, Canada, and Chile.

Read also: Going equal: Dutch constitution replenished with a provision protecting LGBT

The US has some more good news from last month. In June, one of the most influential organizations that conduct ‘conversion therapy’ stated it was closing.

You are not helpless

If you have been affected by the ‘conversion therapy’ or some other issues, remember that you’re nor alone and not helpless. There are various lists of LGBT+ helplines for every part of the world.


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