Suicidology has a history of not recognizing the homosexuality factor in suicide problems, but a suicide problem has existed in gay communities for the last 150 years. Non-random samples of GLB (gay, lesbian, and bisexual) youth have produced 20% to 50% attempted suicide rates. Their predictable over- representation in the attempted suicide problem, at least for GB males, has now been confirmed by Dr. C. Bagley's study of 750 randomly sampled young adult males. Homosexually active males accounted for 37.5% of suicide attempters, and the actual percentage may be higher. Study results and the related literature suggest that GLB youth of colour are at the highest risk for suicide attempts. Professionals working with youth generally lack the knowledge and understanding needed to help these "at risk" adolescents, and their socially induced interrelated problems may be exacerbated when they access often inappropriate services. Important changes in the youth problem prevention/intervention fields are mandatory. The Bagley study reveals that 87.5% of male youth suicide attempters were either sexually abused as children and/or are homosexually oriented. Data confirming a postulated GLB over-representation in worsening youth suicide statistics is lacking due to the poor quality of the research work.

[Note the Addendum.]

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9 Jan 1996