Friday, August 3, 2007

Gay Teens in Guam at Greater Risk of Suicide Attempts

Here is the research data that confirms what I was feeling and thinking in 2004 when I drove up to Capital Hill, here in Saipan, to testify against the proposed anti-gay marriage law. When I heard about the proposed law I had an intense internal struggle to go and speak against it. For me that was a very difficult day in that I am a shy, introverted individual, and fear speaking in front of others. I would not have gone to speak out on my own behalf. However, what persuaded me to pull enough courage to go and speak was the thought of all the GLBT youth that struggle for acceptance here in Saipan. Additionally, I had the intense feeling that some youth have, and in my opinion still continue to struggle with acceptance and may have attempted suicide, or in the least contemplated suicide.

Pinhey & Millman (2004) studied the effects of gay and lesbian suicide risks for Guam's Asian/Pacific Islander teens. There have been previous suicide studies done, however none of them had studied the effects of sexual-orientation. The results of the study found that there was a greater risk of suicide attempt, more so for the boys, in the gay/lesbian teens in Guam.

Pinhey & Millman's (2004) research also indicated that:

"female adolescents with same-sex orientation are at greater risk for suicidality
compared with their heterosexual peers, it appears that corresponding supportive
communities might not exist in Guam or that the effects of such support may not
be sufficient to counterbalance the potential detrimental effects of same-sex
orientation. Indeed, our findings strongly suggest that both male and female
Asian/Pacific Islander adolescents in Guam deserve intervention and counseling
programs to reduce suicidal risks. Recent research shows that gay-sensitive HIV
programs in schools decrease sexual risk for gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents.
Similarly, gay-sensitive interventions targeting relationship physical abuse, binge
drinking, and feelings of hopelessness might help reduce risks of suicide."

Although this research data is evidence to me that GLB teens are at a greater risk for suicide in Guam, the 'T' in 'GLBT' is missing in this research paper. I wonder why Pinhey & Millman excluded the transgender teens.

Island Dyke

Reference:

Pinhey, T. & Millman, S. (2004) Asian/Pacific Islander Adolescent Sexual Orientation and Suicide Risk in Guam. American Journal of Public Health. 2004, July, 94(7): pp1204-1206. Retrieved on August 3, 1007, from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1448422

9 comments:

Henry said...

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Henry said...

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