PBS published an article on February 20th, 2017 that examined how same-sex marriage laws were linked to a drop in adolescent suicide. Citing analysis in The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that in states where same-sex marriages were legalized (prior to the nationwide legalization in 2015), teen suicide attempts dropped by 7 percent. In the LGB high school population, the suicide attempts fell by 14 percent. In states that did not legalize same sex marriages, there was no change.
Featured in this article, Brian Mustanski, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing; tenured professor of Medical Social Sciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Psychology at Northwestern, commented that recent research was “showing positive health effects of social policies that affirm and protect the equality of the LGBT community, and those positive benefits extend beyond LGBT individuals to the general population.”
Julia Raifman, the study leader and a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, stated this study suggested further research is needed to determine how different environments can add to, or detract from, the risk for suicide.
Read the full article on PBS.org here.