Sexual Minority Has Greater Risk Of Suicidal Behavior, Survey Finds

First Posted: Jan 23, 2017 04:06 AM EST

In a recent study by the researchers from seven institutions and community, agencies revealed that sexual minorities are more likely at greater risk than heterosexuals to be victims of physical violence. Also, they tend to have suicidal behavior.

A psychology researcher at the NC State and co-author of the paper on progress, Sarah Desmarais mentioned that, "For this study, we wanted to know how committing acts of physical violence, being a victim of violence, and suicidal behavior relates to each other. Specifically, we wanted to know if one's likelihood of perpetrating violence, being victimized or engaging in suicide-related behaviors differed as a function of one's sexual orientation."

NC State University reported that the researchers did an online survey with over 2,175 people drawn from three sources. It includes a general population sample, sexuality advocacy group sample and a college student sample.

In response to questions about sexual orientation, 1,407 identified as straight, 172 identified as gay, 351 identified as bisexual and 245 identified as other sexual orientations.

The study participants were then asked for self-report on the physically violent behavior, suicidal behavior and victimization.

Desmarais shared that, "We found that 66 percent of all study respondents reported lifetime suicidal behavior and that people who identified as gay, bisexual or other were more likely to exhibit suicidal behavior than their straight counterparts. These groups were also more likely to have been victims of physical violence."

Medical Xpress reported that the study revealed that 25 percent of straight respondents reported being victims of physical violence compared to 33 percent of gay respondents, 42 percent of bisexual respondents and 50 percent of the participants who have been identified as "other."

Also, 59 percent of the straight respondents reported committing suicidal behavior, compared to 69 percent of gay respondents, 82 percent from bisexual and 86 percent from the "other."

As follows, Desmarais said that, "This study doesn't address whether victimization increases the likelihood of suicidal behavior. However, other research has shown a link between victimization and suicide, and our findings here are consistent with that."

The study also revealed that 3 percent of all the study participants committing physical violence has the highest rating with 65 goes to "general population" sample. However, committing violence was not linked to any particular sexual orientation.

Desmarais added that, "These findings highlight the absurdity of policies that are supposedly designed to protect the public from violence committed by sexual minorities. Sexual minorities are no more likely to engage in violence than anyone else - though they are more likely to be the targets of violence." 

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