Young people who self-identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual are more likely to experience bullying, sexual abuse and parental physical abuse, according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. As a result, LGBT youth are also more likely to miss school.
Study co-author Mark S. Friedman, Ph.D., told ScienceDaily that this abuse is one of the underlying reasons for higher rates of mental illness among LGBT youth.
“However,” Friedman said, “I cannot stress enough that these youth experience sexual and physical abuse and bullying because they identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual or experience same-sex attraction; abuse does not ’cause’ sexual orientation or identification.”
A number of studies had previously been conducted on this topic but were limited in size. Friedman and co-authors conducted a meta-analysis of the previous data that provided more accurate results.
The full study is available by subscription only but you can read more at ScienceDaily.