HOW TO PREVENT TEEN SUICIDE
There is no question homosexually self-identified teenagers are at high risk for
suicide attempts and a number of other negative outcomes. While gay activists would have
us believe that this is because they suffer from persecution in a homophobic society, the
research they use to support this claim paints a very different picture. Even if these
adolescents were not gay-identified, they would still fall into the high risk category
because of previous sexual abuse, early sexual debut, drug and alcohol problems, and
troubled family relationships.
In an article entitled "Risk factors for attempted suicide in gay and bisexual
youth" Remafedi, Farrow, and Deisher report on a study which compared gay and
bisexual self-identified adolescents who attempted suicide with those who did not. The
subjects were 137 gay and bisexual males, aged 14 to 21, 41 (30%) of whom had made at
least one suicide attempt:
The attempters were more likely to see themselves as homosexual or bisexual at an
earlier age, and to have had sexual experiences at an earlier age.
Only 27% of the attempters reported that their parents were married (vs. 50 of the
The parents of the attempters were more likely to know they were homosexual. (87% of
mothers and 65% of fathers)
61% of the attempters had been sexually abused, (vs. 29% of the non-attempters)
85% of the attempters had used illicit drugs (vs. 63% of non-attempters)
51% of the attempters had been arrested (vs. 28% of non-attempters)
29% of the attempters had been involved in prostitution (vs. 17% of non-attempters)
On the Bem masculinity/femininity classification:
7.3% of the attempters were classified as masculine (vs. 26% of non-attempters)
36.6% of the attempters were classified as feminine (vs. 17.7% of non-attempters)
What does this show?
First, that self-identified homosexual and bisexual adolescents are at high risk, and
those who are classified as more "feminine" are at even higher risk for suicide,
for drug abuse, for involvement in prostitution, for arrest, and as a result for infection
with HIV and other STDs. The earlier they self-identify as homosexual, and the more
"out" they are, the greater the risk.
The tragedy is that these negative outcomes could have been avoided. Almost all
effeminate boys can be easily identified before they enter school. The condition is called
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and can and should be treated. If it is treated, the
symptoms disappear, the child is not subjected to teasing, and normal psycho-sexual
development can occur.
Unfortunately, parents concerned about effeminate symptoms are routinely told by
pediatricians not to worry or that no treatment is available. In some cases the family is
told to expect a homosexual outcome. Teachers can easily identify these boys, yet they are
not told of the risks or of the possibility of treatment.
Only about 45% of adult homosexual males have a history of GID, however, about 80% have
a history of Chronic Juvenile Unmasculinity (CJU) -- defined as a persistent fear of rough
and tumble play. When not accompanied by the symptoms of GID, this condition may not be as
strikingly obvious, but such boys can be identified and treatment can be highly
Second, when an adolescent self-identifies as gay or bisexual, the first question that
health care professionals and educators need to ask is "Was this child sexually
abused?" Sometimes the child may not recognize an early sexual experience as sexual
abuse, but see it as a sign that he is homosexual. Sometimes adults may not see the
incident as sexual abuse because the abuser is another child or an adolescent. Preventing
and treating sexual child abuse can eliminate a number of negative outcomes including
self-identification as homosexual and the risks involved. Unfortunately, boys with GID or
CJU are more likely to be targeted by pedophiles and therefore at greater risk. The
Remafedi study reveals that only 7.3% of the attempters were classified as masculine, but
61% had a history of sexual abuse.
The gay lobby wants to label boys with GID and CJU as pre-homosexual and counsel them
and their parents to accept the condition as unchangeable. The gay lobby is pressuring
schools to teach that homosexuality is an unchangeable condition, when in fact it is
preventable and treatable.
Parents have a right to know the truth and to have access to treatment. Unfortunately,
until parents who have watched their son die of AIDS decide to sue the pediatrician and
the school for failure to inform and treat, these at-risk boys will continue to be at
Remafedi, G., Farrow, J., Deisher, R. (1991) Risk factors for attempted
suicide in gay and bisexual youth. Pediatrics 87: 869 - 875.