Is ‘Gay Suicide’ a Real Epidemic?

ImageAs mentioned below (Using Suicide to Push Gay Cause Reprehensible!) “gay suicide” is being cited by some pro-bill officials and submitters, as a bona fide reason why marriage should be redefined to include same-sex couples (but not polygamists, trans genders or bisexuals, because apparently “equality” and “anti-discrimination” does not apply to them).

NZ Family First made a written submission to parliament on the much cited gay suicide rate.

“MISREPRESENTING RESEARCH ON TEEN SUICIDE

We note comments made by politicians and supporters of the bill relating to teen suicide. They have referred to research done by the New Zealand Adolescent Health Research group, and they suggest that the disproportionately high rates of suicide attempts by same-sex attracted teens is due in part to the current definition of marriage.

But significantly, the report says:

It is apparent that further investigation of potential differences according to sexual attraction is warranted and that studies in the area of human sexuality require some understanding of a range of inter-related concepts, with the issues of definition and description holding particular importance.” (page 5)

And in a comparison of rates between 2001 and 2007, the report says:

There were no major changes observed between the two surveys (2001 and 2007) in the proportions of same/both-sex-attracted students reporting depressive symptoms or suicide attempts, even though there were substantial reductions in suicide attempts among opposite sex- attracted students over that time.” (page 21)

This is significant because during this period of time, major changes were made to legislation regarding same-sex couples including the Civil Union Act and the Relationships Act. If the assertions were correct, there should have been a drop in these rates.

Massachusetts has been tracking gay high school students for a decade using the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behaviour Survey. In 2001, gay teens in Massachusetts were almost four times more likely to have attempted suicide (31% vs. 8%). In 2007 — after four years of legalised same-sex marriage in that state — gay teens were still about four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-gay teens (29% vs. 6%).

What politicians and supporters also didn’t mention was one of the conclusions from the Fergusson, Horwood & Beautrais 1999 study (quoted in the Youth ’07 report) –

it has been argued that because of a series of social processes that centre on homophobic attitudes, GLB youth are exposed to serious personal stresses that increase their likelihood of suicidal behaviour. However, a reappraisal of these claims showed them not to be well founded in evidence, and reviews of this issue concluded that problems in existing research were such that no clear conclusions about the role of sexual orientation in suicidal behaviour could be drawn.”

Teen suicide is always a tragedy. But tragedies should not be manipulated in order to advance an agenda.

The attempts to argue that if we allow same-sex marriage, same-sex attracted teens will be less likely to have disproportionately high rates of alcohol and other drug-abuse problems, depression, other mental health problems, self-harm, unsafe sexual behaviour, including HIV risk, and suicide attempts are not supported by research, and are therefore not relevant to this particular debate.

About coNZervative

A blog about politics, life, culture, literature, music and thought from Christchurch, New Zealand [NZ] (the home of 10,000 earthquakes since 4 Sept. 2010) built because of the bullying and cajoling of Liberal opinion-makers (journalism and Hollywood) against conservative-minded people who are as entitled to opinion and a perspective as anyone; and because Conservativism has served the world well. John Stringer is a New Zealander (Christchurch) in his 40s married to an American from Taco Bell; they have 5 adult children in 3 diff. countries. John is an ex-Anglican pastor, a teacher, published author (NZ), novelist (USA) and cartoonist (Aust, NZ), and has spent the last 25 years in NZ politics with the National party (he was a parliamentary candidate in 1999). There was a stint in London working for the British Conservative party as well, where he did media minding and campaign work with several Brit cabinet ministers, including Baroness Thatcher, Baroness Blatch, Michael Howard, Tom King, among others. He has an MA (classical studies, Victoria); is a graduate of the New York Film Academy; and has various awards for writing. His passions include British bulldogs, fly fishing, and history (Ancient and WWII). Winston Churchill was mainly a “Conservative” but also a “Liberal” MP between 1900-1964. A Member of Parliament for 64 years, he contested 21 parliamentary elections (for Oldham, Manchester North West, Dundee, and Epping/Woodford). Throughout his career Churchill stood for liberty. He believed in open debate and freedom of speech, and opposed any system or ideology that tried to dictate the way one should think. Churchill felt deeply that disagreements within the democratic system should not degenerate into personal animosities. RIDER: This site is not connected to nzconservative, a Catholic site, or NZ Conservative Party, although from time-to-time I share some of the views espoused by both groups and other sites I follow, as published; I am an independent thinker and blogger.
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One Response to Is ‘Gay Suicide’ a Real Epidemic?

  1. Stevo says:

    “If the assertions were correct, there should have been a drop in these rates.”

    Family Fist doesn’t do logic good innit? Can you explain to me why you think this is a correct conclusion to draw? Bet you can’t.

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