Same-Sex Marriage Legalization is Linked to Reduction in Suicide Attempts Among Teens

Posted on February 22, 2017

Photo: flickr

A percentage of suicide attempts from high school students comes from those who are identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Some of the reasons why include bullying or being ostracized to the extent that individuals would want to take their own lives for being unaccepted. However, according to a research from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, there was a significant reduction of suicide attempts of these individuals (and in general) associated with the implementation of state laws that legalized same-sex marriage.

Researchers say that this is one example of how government policies have a great impact on social behaviors. The leader of the study, Julia Raifman, suggests that this move reduced stigmatization associated with sexual orientation. It's a move towards equal rights, which is a powerful motivator in terms of hope to combat against bullies. As suicide is the second most common cause of death among people from 15-24, the implementation of this policy is having a positive effect on social movement.

In addition the legalization of same-sex marriage was associated with a reduction in suicide attempts of all high school students, not just the gays, lesbians and bisexuals (by 7%!). Interestingly, the states that did not have this legalization saw no significant difference in suicide attempts.

Source material from PsyPost

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