'Lesbian teens a high-suicide-risk group'
OTTAWA, May 30, 2006 (AFP) - Lesbian teens are almost five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual girls, according to a new survey presented at a public health conference in Vancouver this week.Updated: May 31, 2006 18:42 IST
Lesbian teens are almost five times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual girls, according to a new survey presented at a public health conference in Vancouver this week.
The 2003 survey of 30,000 students aged 13 to 18 years old in western Canada found that 38 per cent of lesbian girls and 30.4 per cent of bisexual girls said they had attempted suicide in the previous year, compared with 8.2 per cent of heterosexual girls.
In contrast, 8.8 percent of homosexual boys, 2.8 percent of bisexual boys and 3.3 percent of heterosexual boys said they had attempted suicide.
Researcher Elizabeth Saewyc of the McCreary Centre Society told the Vancouver Sun newspaper that lesbian girls are an "invisible group," getting significantly less attention than homosexual boys and having significantly fewer public resources directed toward them.
Homosexual and bisexual boys and girls report higher rates of abuse, harassment and violence in Canada, but "girls are not as readily identified for help," Saewyc said.
She noted that the results may be skewed, however, because boys are more likely than girls to succeed in attempts to kill themselves.
According to Statistics Canada, suicide remains the second leading cause of death among adolescents in Canada, surpassed only by motor vehicle accidents.
First Published: May 31, 2006 18:42 IST