The Health & Well-Being of LGB Youth

Apicha Community Health Center Aug 12, 2016  

lgb youth

With the 2016-2017 school year right around the corner, it seems to be the appropriate time to talk about the mental safety of our LGB youth. School can be a much different experience for LGB students than it is for their straight peers. 

According to the CDC, recent studies show that LGB students experience physical, sexual violence and bullying at levels far much higher than that of their heterosexual classmates. It's worth noting that this study focuses specifically on students in grades 9-12.


Related: The Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges


LGB Youth vs. Heterosexual Youth

To give you a better understanding, below are a few statistics provided by the CDC of what LGB students are more likely to report when compared to that of heterosexual students:

  • Being forced to have sex (18% LGB vs. 5% heterosexual)
  • Sexual dating violence (23% LGB vs. 9% heterosexual)
  • Physical dating violence (18% LGB vs. 8% heterosexual)
  • Being bullied at school or online (at school: 34% LGB vs. 19% heterosexual; online: 28% LGB vs. 14% heterosexual)

The Resultlgb youth

These unfortunate experiences can often place LGB students at substantial risk for a variety of dangerous outcomes:

  • More than 40% of LGB students seriously considered suicide and 29% reported attempting suicide in the last year.
  • 60% of LGB students reported having been so sad or hopeless that they stopped participating in some normal activities.
  • LGB students were up to 5 times more likely than heterosexual students to report using several illegal drugs.
  • More than 1 in 10 LGB students have missed school during the past 30 days because of safety concerns.

Prevention

Preventing negative experiences for LGB youth starts with building a safe environment. When talking specifically about educational environments, schools can:

  • Establish a culture of inclusion and respect that welcomes students of all types. This type of atmosphere should be constantly associated with all aspects of the school. Reward students who embrace this type of culture and use them as a key influencer. 
  • Ensure that students interact in a safe manner. Monitor bullying "hot spots" around the school's campus. Obviously this kind of activity will take place where adults are not present.
  • Gain adoption from every staff member. If everyone is on the same page, prevention will be much easier for all parties involved.
  • Set a tone of respect in every class and lead by example. Poorly-managed classrooms are a breeding ground for hateful, disrespectful actions.
  • Make your children and other students aware of the It Gets Better Pledge. Help empower them to spread a positive message about inclusion and encourage them to speak up against bullying when they become aware of it. 

The health & well-being of LGB youth tends to be an ongoing issue within our school systems. However, if we work together to raise awareness and make it an issue of higher priority, we can make a positive impact on the lives of LGBT individuals throughout the nation.

Apicha Community Health Center | LGBT Health Center in NYC


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs. If you were not...
Substance Abuse 101: Cocaine

Substance Abuse 101: Cocaine

Cocaine is another commonly abused substance. It has a number of negative health effects and is...
Substance Abuse 101: Alcohol

Substance Abuse 101: Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most popular, easily accessible, and dangerous substance people can abuse....

"I Swallow Daily" API Artists Discuss PrEP, Stigma, & Representation

APIs remain one of the minority groups in NYC that have not seen a decrease in new HIV diagnoses....
FAQs: What to Know About Enrolling for Health Insurance

FAQs: What to Know About Enrolling for Health Insurance

Open enrollment for health insurance begins Nov. 1, but we understand some folks still have a lot...
New York State on Track to

New York State on Track to "End the Epidemic" by End of 2020

On World AIDS Day, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that HIV incidence — or the estimated number...
NY Governor Announces New Actions to Protect Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Individuals

NY Governor Announces New Actions to Protect Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Individuals

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new actions to protect...
Join Apicha CHC for Family Talk: From Trans Awareness to Trans Acceptance

Join Apicha CHC for Family Talk: From Trans Awareness to Trans Acceptance

In honor of Trans Day of Remembrance and Trans Awareness Week, Apicha CHC and API Rainbow Parents...
Recognizing National Diabetes Awareness Month

Recognizing National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and aims to spread awareness and knowledge about...
Come Celebrate 2019 World AIDS Day in NYC

Come Celebrate 2019 World AIDS Day in NYC

World AIDS Day is December 1. During this day, folks unite against HIV, support those battling HIV,...