Teens who hide their sexuality are at a higher risk for suicide

Researchers say there are ways to prevent suicide risks. | Photo: Unsplash/Sydney Sims A new study warns that teenagers who hide their sexuality are at a higher risk for suicide.

The study, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine , ‘examines the association between sexual orientation discordance and suicidal ideation/suicide attempts’.

Sexual orientation discordance is defined as ‘the mismatch between the various dimensions of sexual orientation’.

In other words, teens who identified as heterosexual but only had sexual contact/experience with members of the same sex or both sexes. Alternatively, youth identifying as gay/lesbian but only having experience with members of the opposite sex or both sexes.

Why does this discordance exist?

According to the study, factors such as homophobia, lack of opportunity to act truly, or fluidity explain this phenomenon. Furthermore, ‘societal norms may put pressure on sexual minorities to present a sexual identity inconsistent with their true sexual identity or to act in a manner inconsistent with their sexual identity’. The numbers are alarming Researchers surveyed nearly 7,000 teens across the US. They asked them 99 questions relating to health, suicide, and sexual identities.Ultimately, they drew conclusions between various identity traits and the risk of non-fatal suicide behaviors. For example, women are […]