The United States acknowledged the legal status of same-sex marriages since June 26, 2015. This date marks a historical court ruling from the United States Supreme Court in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. This decision described the ban on gay and lesbian marriages as against the constitution. The court decided that denying gay couples the right to be recognized as a married one violates the Equal Protection and the Due Process clauses from the Fourteenth Amendment. Based on this case, the recognition of same-sex marriages as legal procedures has become a federal law. A new study reveals that such a monumental event led to a decrease in the number of suicide attempts.
A new research paper was published on behalf of Johns Hopkins University. The document states that high school students have been involved in less suicide attempts the moment legislation accepted same-sex marriages. The average number of such cases dropped by 7%. The improvement was noticeable, especially among bisexual, lesbian, and gay youngsters. In comparison, this segment of students benefited a 14% drop in suicide attempts.
The co-author of the paper, Julia Raifman, stated that she and her colleagues started this research as an effort to offer more transparency regarding the situation of sexual minorities. She added that this report might persuade policymakers to consider the health consequences of the legislation they vote regarding the LGBT communities.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that suicide is the second largest cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 24. On the other hand, such fatal rates are higher among sexual minorities than those among heterosexual students. More other data from CDC were used by researchers in their latest study.
The team with its members from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, and Boston Children’s Hospital drew their conclusions from a collection of 760,000 cases of students that were monitored from 1999 to 2015. These data were compared to those regarding the states that adopted same-sex marriage law.
This is how they discovered that prior to lesbian or gay marriage legalization, the rate of self-reported suicide attempts was on average 8.6% annually among high school students. The same rate was 28.5% among sexual minorities. When certain states adopted the new law, they recorded a drop of suicide attempts of 0.6% in comparison to states that did not do such thing. As a consequence, the average drop was of 7%.
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