Same sex marriage laws linked with drop in youth suicide rates

Tue. February 21, 2017 8:05 AM by News Staff

Suicide attempts among high school students fell by an average of 7% following implementation of same-sex marriage laws, say researchers

New research shows a correlation between marriage equality laws and lower suicide attempts among teens - especially those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or questioning (LGBTQ).

The new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics shows same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7 percent reduction in the proportion of high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year. That was especially true for LGBQ adolescents, who had a 14 percent decline.

"I would hope that policymakers and the public would consider the potential health implications of laws and policies affecting LGBT rights," said Julia Raifman, co-author of the research from Johns Hopkins University.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among US people ages 10 to 24 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teenagers who identify as LGBTQ are at a higher risk for suicide attempts.

The study concludes that implementing same-sex marriage policies was associated with improved population health.