A study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health postdoctoral fellow Julia Raifman has shown that the decrease in youth suicide attempts is linked to the change in same-sex marriage laws. Raifman’s report, “Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts” was published in late February on The JAMA Network.
The LGBTQ community experiences higher risk for suicide, and suicide prevention education and crisis hotlines are the focal point of many organizations and charities.
“The rate of suicide attempts is 4 times greater for LGB youth and 2 times greater for questioning youth than that of straight youth,” suicide prevention organization The Trevor Project shares on their suicide fact page.
Raifman conducted this study based on responses from 762,678 students who were involved between 1999 and 2015 in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.
“The researchers found that suicide attempts by high school students decreased by 7 percent in states after they passed laws to legalize same-sex marriage, before the Supreme Court legalized it nationwide in 2015,” summarizes PBS. “Among LGB high school students, the decrease was especially concentrated, with suicide attempts falling by 14 percent. But in states that did not legalize same-sex marriage, there was no change.”
In case you were wondering if there was a direct link between the government’s decisions and America’s youth, the answer is, “yes.”