It is the first time a major sexual minority study reveals unfair treatment. The premiere survey conducted at a national level has asked high school students about their sexuality. It found that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered teens had a greater risk for depression, bullying and other types of violence, compared to their straight colleagues.
According to Dr. Jonathan Mermin, a senior official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the numbers were “heartbreaking”.
The study found what smaller studies have been hinting for years. However, this particular survey is important because it’s the first time the government looks at teenage sexuality in connection to identity. The study found that around eight percent of the high schoolers described themselves as LGBT. That accounts for 1.3 million students across America.
These teenagers were three times more exposed to rape, than their straight counterparts. LGBT teenagers skipped school a lot more than their colleagues, as they did not feel safe. One-third of them was bullied on school premises. These teens were twice as exposed to injury or threat with a weapon on school property.
Over forty percent of LGBT students considered suicide and twenty-nine percent attempted to do so in the year previous to the survey. When it came to drug use, 1.3 percent of straight students had used heroin, compared to a six percent figure of the lesbian, gay , bisexual and transgendered students who have done the same thing.
Dr. Mermin also pointed out that the nation should act on reducing these figures quickly. The survey was conducted with 13,600 students across the United States, with ages ranging form 14 to 17.
Although the figures reveal loneliness and discrimination which is too longstanding and too familiar, at least they helped create a national database with information on teen sexuality.
Dr. Debra Houry, who is in charge of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control wants more prevention campaigns.
She mentioned programs such as Green Dot which empowers students to support victims of bullying. Other programs help vulnerable students cope with dangerous situations.
The report did not look at the underlying causes of the situation.
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