Study Confirms Gay & Lesbian Kids More Likely to Consider Suicide

Uploaded by MidweekPolitics on 22.04.2011

Announcer: The David Pakman Show at
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There's a new study from Mark Hatzenbuehler, and it actually outlines very, very specifically,
Louis, the effect of the social environment, suicide... on suicidal tendencies among LGBT
youth. And this is something we've heard a lot about from... on this particular show,
we've heard from a lot of anti-gay individuals saying that bullying is not the type of thing
that specifically affects gay and lesbian kids and wanting to kill themselves. We've
heard a number of different unsubstantiated claims made really over the last several years
by many of these individuals on our show.
Louis: Right.
David: And this study very specifically outlines the discrepancy that there is between gay
and straight kids in terms of how likely they are to have thoughts of suicide. But the reality
is that I would assume the majority of our audience already would have put two and two
together and would realize that unwelcoming situations would make LGBT kids more likely
to think about killing themselves. I mean, it just is... it's just obvious.
Louis: Right, and it may be obvious to the people who would denounce a study like this,
but that's why the study needs to take place, because even though it's obvious...
David: Right.
Louis: There needs to be inconclusive-- or, conclusive evidence that this is actually
David: Well, we always talk about whether when we hear about a study being done for
something that appears to be obvious, is it a waste? And then we always get back around
to well, if we don't do the study, then the detractors of such obvious conclusions will
say hey, there's never been an official study done, so therefore you're just... your opinion's
as valid as mine.
Louis: And most studies... this is more impressive than most studies. They... 31,852 11th-grade
David: Yeah.
Louis: That's a big number.
David: That's right. And about 4.4% were lesbian/gay/bisexual. And this... the results, I just have to say,
the results are obvious. Number one, LGBT youth... or, actually, this is just lesbian/gay/bisexual,
so I shouldn't say LGBT, there's no T in there. LGB youth were significantly more likely to
attempt suicide in the year prior to the study compared with heterosexuals. And we're not
talking a small difference, Louis, we're talking 21% versus 4.2% in this particular study,
OK? Among LGB youth, the risk of attempting suicide was 20% greater in unsupportive environments
compared to supportive environments, OK? And we'll... I have thoughts on that, which we'll
get to. A more supportive social environment was significantly associated with fewer, suicide
attempts, controlling for sociodemographic variables, risk factors, etc., including depressive
symptoms, binge drinking, peer victimization, etc. Very significantly.
So what this says to me is that when we hear, for example, Kentucky state lawmakers wanting
to include an exception in their anti-bullying bill... I don't have to tell you what party
the individual who suggested this was, do I, Louis? I think I don't have to do that.
Louis: Not at all.
David: Saying I want it to be OK to bully gay kids...
Louis: Verbally.
David: Verbally, as long as the criticisms being made are based on the Bible. And then
we see this study, which says very clearly unsupportive environments will increase the
risk factors for suicide 20% on young gay and lesbian children, and a Kentucky state
lawmaker, he's really concerned if it's Christian verbal bullying, if it's based on the word
of God, it should be acceptable.
Louis: Well, I hope someone brings this study to his attention.
David: I can't imagine it will make a difference to him.
Louis: No, no, of course not.
David: Because Louis, if you're-- if it's all based on the Bible...
Louis: Yeah, the Bible is it.
David: That's not... the Bible doesn't create an unsupportive social environment.
Louis: The Bible is the law.
David: And... [laughs] So this is... it's tragic information, it's very sad to read.
I mean, it is so significantly more likely that these kids have attempted suicide if
they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual than if they are not that this should... regardless
of your feelings about Leviticus and the word of God, if you do consider yourself pro-life,
which is not really a term I throw around, I find that usually it's used incorrectly,
I find many things which are actually anti-life are called pro-life, if you do call yourself
pro-life, then you should be willing to do whatever is necessary, based on the evidence,
to prevent suicide attempts. And that's not being done. It's simply not being done.
And we'll actually talk... you know, on Monday, Louis, we're going to be speaking with former
NBA player John Amaeche, who famously came out of the closet as a gay man and has addressed
issues of what goes on in NBA locker rooms. And what I really want to talk to him about
is this Kobe Bryant anti-gay slur that we talked about over the last week. Kobe Bryant
was fined $100,000. I want to ask John Amaeche was that enough, I want to ask John Amaeche
is this language... how common is this language in NBA locker rooms? But very importantly,
given that so many kids look up to professional athletes as role models, what effect are we
having... is Kobe Bryant doing this, using this anti-gay slur on the court, is it going
to make other kids think it's OK to say these things to...
Louis: Or make other kids feel ashamed of what they might be feeling.
David: That's exactly right. So I'm pretty excited to talk to John Amaeche, because I've
seen a lot of interviews with him. And we'll talk to him on Monday, so definitely tune
in to that.
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