Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gay, Bisexual Youth More Apt to Engage in Risky Behavior

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 A huge survey of more than 150,000 adolescents by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds more reasons to be concerned about the mental--and physical--health of teens who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. The survey found that these youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to take part in risky behaviors such as drinking, smoking, refusing to wear a helmet while bicycling, purging to lose weight, and attempting suicide.

 Howell Wechsler, head of the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health, was quoted as saying in response to the findings that the report "should be a wake-up call for families, schools, and communities that we need to do a much better job of supporting these young people.... Any effort to promote adolescent health and safety must take into account the additional stressors that these youth experience because of their sexual orientation, such as stigma, discrimination, and victimization." Read more about mental health issues in gay youth at Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/9/9.2.full and http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/11/17.2.full.


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