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Suicide Attempt Research Data:
+ Thirty G(L)B Samples
 

See "Attempted Suicide" Results For Homosexually Oriented Males & Females: More Than 140 Studies!

Sent(a)Mental Project - A Memorial to GLBTIQA Suicides / Final Version (2009)

ASIST: Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training: GLBT Focus
United Church of Christ (UCC) Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Concerns.

A Department of Silence: Bullying of LGBT youth not a priority (2010)
LGBT youth suicide reports show need for more studies (2011).

Jamie Hubley, Gay 15-Year-Old Ottawa, Canada (2011). Related: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
"I hate being the only open gay guy in my school… It f***ing sucks, I really want to end it. Like all of it, I not getting better
theres 3 more years of highschool left, Iv been on 4 different anti -depressants, none of them worked. I’v been depressed since january,
How f***ing long is this going to last. People said “It gets better”. Its f***ing bull****. I go to see psychologist,
What the f*** are they suppost to f***ing do? All I do is talk about problems, it doesnt make them dissapear?? I give up."
Gay teens 'terrorized' in Canada's schools N/A (2009, Study). Related: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

It Gets Better Project. - Jamey Rodemeyer Suicide (2011): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Anti-gay bullying leads to another tragic teen suicide (2011): Nicholas Kelo Jr... was 13 years old.
It is unknown as to whether or not Nick was gay, but that did not stop his bullies or their attacks... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Gay teen Lance Lundsten's death ruled a suicide (2011): 1, 2, 3.
New study shows that before things “get better,” there are consequences.
The 2011 University GLB Student Suicidality & Deliberate Self-Injury Alert!

Suicide Attempt Incidence Results in Studies of Self-Defined Gay and Bisexual Males - Page Index.

G(L)B Youth Lifetime "Suicide Attempt" DATA - 12 Published Studies (American, or Specified).
G(L)B Youth Lifetime "Suicide Attempt" DATA - Unpublished Studies (American, or Specified) & Published Suicide Attempt Data (No Analysis): 8 studies + one Internet Survey.
Gay/Bisexual Male Youth Lifetime "Suicide Attempt" DATA Studies With "Heterosexual" Male Control Samples - 6 Studies. Two major studies published in October 1999, and one in April 2000.
American Youth Risk Behavior Studies: 1987 (Minnesota Adolescent Health Survey), 1993, 1995, 1997 - 6 Studies.
Research Based Indications of "at risk" Status of Homosexually Oriented Males.

Coming Soon!  Results of 2 Postmortem Suicide Studies.

G(L)B Youth Lifetime "Suicide Attempt" DATA
Published Studies (American, or Specified)
STUDY (N)1 MALES MEAN AGE % SUICIDE ATTEMPTERS
REATTEMPT RATE
Roesler & Deisher, 1972
60
GB Males
20
31.0%
37%
Remafedi, 1987
29
GB Males
18.3
31.0%
20%
Schneider et al. 1989
108
GB Males
20.6
20.0%
45%
Remafedi et al. 1991
137
GB Males
19.6
30.0%
44%
Rotheram Borus, 1992 (1994)
Visiting Hetrick & Martin Institute (N.Y.)
138
GB Males
(14-19)
+/- 17
39.0%
52%
D'Augelli & Hersberger, 1993 - U.S. Youth Groups
1422
GB Males
19.2
42.0%*
 
Hammelman, 1993
283
+/- 23
25.0%*
 
Proctor & Groze, 1994 - Youth Groups - U.S.  & Canadian
1592
GB Males
+/- 19
40.3%*
 
Grossman & Kerner, 1998**
904
GLB Youth
(14-21)
+/- 18
30.0%*
67%
 Cochand  & Bovet, 1998 - Switzerland
 139
GB Males
 36.4
 22.8%
 
 Kelly et al., 1998
Australia
 229
GB Males
 33.0
 23.6%
 
Waldo et al. (1998)
 544
GLB Youth
 +/- 18.5
 32.0%

Means
(12 Studies)
   
30.5%5
44.1%

* Study samples included lesbian or bisexual females.

1.  An assortment of community-based volunteer samples, sometimes including individuals referred for the study by counselors.  The sometimes high percentage of subjects in 'counselling" situation has produced related criticism, the implication being of "bias" - but this may not be the case. Community-based samples of gay and bisexual males used in HIV-AIDS research (cohort samples) have revealed a high prevalence of "psychiatric histories" (up to about 60%) for these males. See Colorado Paper (1997).

2.  Samples of gay/bisexual males who were a part of larger sample including lesbians and bisexual females. Suicide attempt prevalence was given for whole group with the authors specifying a statistical non-difference for both genders.

3.  Samples of gay/bisexual males who were a part of larger sample including lesbians and bisexual females. Suicide attempt prevalence was given for the males.

4. Samples of gay/bisexual/lesbian individuals with suicide attempt prevalence given for entire group.

5. The significance of 30.5% (or 28.4%) of gay/bisexual male youth having attempted suicide is realized from the following summary of suicide attempt prevalence in the general male youth population:

The prevalence of suicide attempts among gay and bisexual male youths is high (39%), especially as compared to reports of presumably heterosexual [male & female] youths in high schools (11% to 16%) (Adcock, Nagy, & Simpson, 1991; Garrison,1989) and community samples (9% to 12%) (Guyer, Lescohier, Gallagher, Hausman, & Azzara, 1989; Joffe, Offord, & Boyle, 1988). (Rotheram-Borus et al. 1994)
By 1993-94, it was possible to average the results of  "suicide attempt" studies to produce a "lifetime suicide attempt" incidence of about 30% for gay and bisexual male youth as done by Tremblay 1994, Tremblay 1995, and Bagley and Tremblay (1997). By 1998, however, about 11 years after the 1987 Minnesota Adolescent Health  Survey had been done, Saewyc EM, et al (1998) reported that, in the survey,  "nearly 1 of 3 older boys and girls [in the 15 to 18-year -old range] reported at least one suicide attempt," thus replicating the "30%" average for studies based on volunteer community-based samples of gay and bisexual male youth, or samples also consisting of lesbian and bisexual female youth.
G(L)B Youth Lifetime "Suicide Attempt" DATA
Unpublished Studies (American, or Specified) &
Published Suicide Attempt Data (No Analysis)
STUDY (N) MALES MEAN AGE % SUICIDE ATTEMPTERS
NOTES
Martin & Hetrick, 1988
Youth Visiting Hetrick & Martin Institute (N.Y.)
5002
GLB Youth
approx.
+/- 17.0
21.0%
 
Magnuson, 1992
Master's Thesis - Canada
773
GB Males
+/- 23.5
26.0%
 
Uribe & Harbeck, 1992
372
+/- 17.0
+/- 50.0%
 
Herdt/Boxer, 1993
Youth Members of  Horizon Youth Group - Chicago
1412
GB Youth
to 21
+/- 17.0
20.0%
 
Remafedi, 1994
239
GB Youth
13-21
19.9
30.0%
70/237
 
Dohaney, 1995
Master's Study
202
GLB Youth
--
20.0%
 
Jordan, 1994
Master's Study
342
GLB School
Students
--
35.3%
 
Hetch, 1998
PhD Study
522
GLB Youth
--
25.7%
 
Mean
(8 Studies)
   
28.4%5
 
Internet Survey7
by Outproud & 
Oasis Magazine
1953
GLB Youth
78% Males
10-25
18.0
22.0%
Re-
attempters
62%

7. 78% of first suicide attempts occurred between from the age 12 to 16 years.

Gay/Bisexual Male Youth Lifetime "Suicide Attempt" DATA
Studies With "Heterosexual" Male Control Samples
STUDY
Attempt %
"Homo/Bi"
Attempt %
"Hetero"
"X" - Times
More At Risk
 Bell & Weinberg, 1978
U.S.A.  (White Males to age 17)
Mean Age = 36 years
  4.9%
n = 575
GB males
 0.35%
n = 282
Heterosexual
Males
14-times 
 Bell & Weinberg, 1978
U.S.A. (White Males to age 21)
Mean Age = 36 years
  9.5%
n = 575
GB males
 0.70%
n = 282
Heterosexual
Males
13.6-times
(95% CI: OR =
3.6<14.9<61.6
(Estimated)
 Bell & Weinberg, 1978
U.S.A. (White Males to age 25)
Mean Age = 36 years
  14.4%
n = 575
GB males
 2.47%
n = 282
Heterosexual
Males
5.8-times
(95% CI: OR =
3.0<6.7<14.6
(Estimated)
 Harry, 1983
(Bell & Weinberg, 1978 Sample)
U.S.A. White & Black Males - lifetime - Mean Age = 36 years
 18.4%
n = 683
GB males
 3.0%
n = 337
Heterosexual
Males
6-times 
(95% CI: OR =
3.8<7.4<14.3
(Estimated)
 Bagley & Tremblay (1997)
Canada (Suicide Attempt) GB Males = 
62.5% of attempters.
Age Range = 18 - 27 (Mean 22.7)
6.1%
 n = 82
10.9% of Sample
Homo/Bi Males
0.45% 
n = 668
89.1% of Sample
Hetero. Males
 13.9-times
(95% CI: OR = 3.4<14.4<61.4)
(Estimated)
 Bagley & Tremblay (1997)
Canada (Self-Harm, includes attempters)
GB Males = 26.0% of males in "self-harm" category.
Age Range = 18 - 27 (Mean 22.7)
15.8%
 n = 82
10.9% of Sample
Homo/Bi Males
5.5% 
n = 668
89.1% of Sample
Hetero. Males
 3-times
(95% CI: OR = 
1.6<3.2< 6.3)
Estimated
 Nicholas (1998)
Australia - Thesis Study
Age Range = 18 - 25
 28.8%
n = 53
GB Males
 7.8%
n = 53
Hetero. Males
 4-times
 Vinke & van Heeringen (1998) Belgium
Age Range = 15 - 27 (Mean 20.4)
 12.4%
n = 137
GB  Males
 5.9%
n = 71
Hetero. Males
 2-times
 Herrell et al. (1999)
USA - Vietnam Era Twin Registry: 103 twin pairs, one twin homo-active; 16 twin pairs, two twins homo-active.
 14.7%-
18.8%
2.2%-3.9%
4.8-6.7-times
(95% CI: OR =
2.4<5.1<10.9)
Fergusson et al. (1999)
New Zealand - Birth Cohort Study - Age = 21 Years - Results
32.1%
(Approx)
7.0%
(Approx)
4.6-times
(95% CI: OR =
2.7<6.2<14.3)
Cochran & Mays (2000)
USA - NHANES - Male Sample, n = 3648,
Age Range = 17-39
19.3%
Males with male sex partner(s) in lifetime
3.6%
Males with only
female lifetime 
sex partner(s)
5.4-times
(95% CI: OR = 
2.2<5.4<13.0
Cochran & Mays (2000) Data
For Males 
aged 17 to 29
(Estimated)
31.3%
Males with male sex partner(s) in lifetime
(Estimated)
3.6%
Males with only
female lifetime
sex partner(s)
(Estimated)
8.7-times
(95% CI: OR = 
6.4<12.5<24.2
(Estimated)
Note
Cochran & Mays (2000) Data
For Males 
aged 17 to 29
(Estimated)
31.3%
Males with male sex partner(s) in lifetime
(Estimated)
3.4%
Males with only
female lifetime
sex partner(s) or
no sex partner
(Estimated)
9.2-times
(95% CI: OR = 
7.1<13.8<26.8
(Estimated)
Note

Note: This Odds Ratio "7.1<13.8<26.8"is almost identical to the one produced in the Bagley & Tremblay (1997) Calgary study of young adult males (age range = 18-27): 95% CI, OR: 3.4<14.4<61.4. This is to the average of about 23 years for the two samples. The 95% CI, OR: 3.6<14.9<61.6 to the age of 21 for males compared in the Bell & Weinberg (1978) study is also similar.

Statistical Estimates: Often enough published studies contain sufficient data permitting a further statistical analysis of the data, such as determining Odds Ratios for the reported results, or for a subset of the sample for which results were reported. These results, however, are "estimates," or a close approximation of what the values would be had they been generated from the actual data sets. For additional information related to these calculation, follow the hyperlink for the given study.

The Youth Risk Behavior Studies
State & Year Sample Taken, Published Study, 
& Links To Site Information 
Suicide Attempt
% reporting
'homo'
Suicide Attempt
% reporting 
'hetero'
"X"-Times 
More At 
Risk
Minnesota(1987)8
Remafedi et al. (1998)
Saewyc et al. (1998)
GB Males
28.1%
Hetero Males
4.2%
7-times
Massachusetts (1993)
Faulkner & Cranston (1998)
Attempting Suicide
Homo / Bi
sex active
Male/Female
27.5%
Heterosexually
Active Only
Male & Female
13.4%
2-times
Attempters reporting Receiving Medical Attention
 20.0%
 4.7%
 4-times
Attempters reporting 4 or more Attempts
 16.1%
2.0% 
 8-times
Massachusetts(1995)
Mass Educ.Web Site
GLBS = 4.4% of Students
Homo / Bi / Homo-
Sex Active
36.5%
Hetero. Males and Females
8.9%
4-times
Massachusetts(1995)
Garofalo et al. (1998)
GLB = 2.5% of Students
 Homo/Bi Male/female
35.5%
 Hetero. Males and Females
9.1%
 3.3-times
Massachusetts(1995)
Garofalo et al. (1999)
 Homo/Bi/Unsure
Male/Female:
31%
 Hetero. Males
and Females
9.1%
 3.74-times
 Males: 3.8% (GB) + 0.9% (Not sure) = 4.7% (GBN) = 24% of male suicide attempters.
 Homo/Bi/Unsure
Males: 33%
 Hetero. Males
5.1%
 6.5-times
 1.3% Unsure of Sexual Orientation: 0.9% of Males + 1.7% of Females
 "Not Sure" 
Male / Female
22.76%
 9.1%
 2.5-times
Homo-Active Teens
2.13% -  55% in GLBN Category
30.6%
9.2%
3.3-times
Massachusetts (1997)
"Attempted Suicide"
 4.0% GLB- Identified and / or homo-sex activity
37%
 Others: 
"Their Peers"
8%
 4.6-times
Massachusetts(1997)
Suicide Attempt - With Related 
Medical Attention
 4.0% GLB- Identified and / or homo-sex activity
19%
 Others = 
"Their peers"
3%
 6.3-times
Vermont (1995)
Durant et al. (1998)
Homo-Sex Active Males = 
8.7% of males
Homo- / bi- sexually active
Males
 Heterosexually active only
Males
 More at risk, increasing with greater # of 
sex partners
Seattle (1995)
(No Publications) -See: Seattle Page . GLB = 4.4% of Students.
GLB- Identified 
Adolescents
20.6%
Heterosexual 
Adolescents
6.7%
 3-times
Suicide Attempt Required Medical Attention
9.4%
2.2%
4-times

8. Study done using the Minnesota Adolescent Health Survey Questionnaire amended to solicit "sexual orientation" information.

Research Based Indications of "at risk" Status of Homosexually Oriented Males.

All gay community-based study samples of homosexually oriented males report elevated rated of lifetime suicidality for these males.

All community based samples of homosexually oriented males - with control samples of heterosexual males - report elevated rated of suicidality for homosexually oriented males compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

The school-based Youth Risk Behavior Studies all report elevated rates of suicidality for homosexually oriented males during  the year preceding the study. The studies generally report  that homosexually oriented males (defined on the basis of either self-identification or homosexual activity) are at greater risk for what appears to be the more serious suicide attempts: the ones associated with having received medical care.  This "higher risk" status for the "more serious forms of self-harm"  is replicated in the Bagley & Tremblay (1996, 1997) study.

To date, the Bagley & Tremblay (1997) study remains as the only study to have used a household-based random sampling technique - stratified random sampling - producing both a sample of homosexually oriented males and of their heterosexual counterparts for comparison purposes. This study replicated the Bell & Weinberg (1978) results and is also the best and most recent indicator available of the "self-harm" at risk status of homosexually oriented males. Compared to heterosexual males, homosexually oriented males (12.7% of sample) accounted for 26% of males in the "self-harm" category (including suicide attempts) and 62.5% of suicide attempters. They were 3-times more at risk for reporting "self-harm" and almost 14-times more at risk for reporting having attempted suicide.

Given that homosexually oriented male youth have been reported to be at greater risk of the more serious forms of self harm - and that such results are replicated - they are therefore likely to be even more at risk for completed suicides. Given the Bagley & Tremblay (1997) results and erring on the conservative side:

Homosexually oriented males may well account for more than half of the male youth deaths resulting from suicide.
If correct, what therefore would be the implications with respect to the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs which have traditionally either ignored or purposefully omitted homosexuality issues? Could not such suicide prevention programs have been suicide-inducing programs for homosexually oriented male youth? Tremblay (1994) offers an explanation for such predictable(?) suicidality-producing results in suicide education/prevention programs.
 

Postmortem Suicide Studies

Some of the data to yet to be organized:

Sexual Orientation in Adolescents Who Commit Suicide. Shaffer, David; And Others.  Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v25 suppl p64-71 1995
Note: Supplement: "Research Issues in Suicide and Sexual Orientation."
Abstract.
Research Highlights and Commentary (Alternate Link):
 

San Diego Suicide Study: The Adolescents. Rich, Charles L. et al. , Adolescence, v25 n100 p855-65 Win 1990
Abstract.
 

San Diego Suicide Study: Comparison of Gay to Straight Males.
Rich, Charles L. et al. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior; v16 n4 p448-57 Win 1986
Abstract.

Research Highlights:

In a series of 283 suicides, 13 male victims were deemed to be homosexual, ranging in age from 21- to 42-years of age. There were 106 male suicide victims in the same age range out of 202 male victims. In this age range, 10.9% of the victims were homosexual; the implications are that gay males are not over-represented in suicide if openly gay males account for about 10% of the male population.. This assumption, however, may not be the case given the highly to partly closeted nature of many gay and bisexual males. Remafedi (1994a) comments on this study in the Introduction to his book, Death by Denial: "Moreover, since suicide attempts in homosexual persons have been found to be associated with nondisclosure of orientation, it is reasonable to expect that the 10 percent figure is the lowest possible estimate of the actual proportion of gay suicides in the San Diego cohort. Unfortunately, the authors minimized their own findings by overestimating the prevalence of homosexuality in the general population and underestimating the likelihood of missed cases of gay and lesbian suicide" (p. 11).


Email:   Pierre Tremblay: ----- pierre@youth-suicide.com ----- (403) 245-8827
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