Legalising same-sex marriage may reduce suicide in teens
Same-sex marriage policies were associated with more than 1,34,000 fewer adolescent suicide attempts per year.
Washington D.C: The implementation of state laws for legalising same-sex marriage can significantly reduce the rate of suicide attempts among teenagers, reveals a study.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health found that state-level, same-sex marriage policies were associated with more than 1,34,000 fewer adolescent suicide attempts per year.
The study, appeared in JAMA Pediatrics, compared states that passed laws allowing same-sex marriage to states that did not enact state-level legalisation.
The findings show the effect that social policies can have a great impact on their behaviour.
"These are high school students. So, they aren't getting marriedany time soon, for the most part," says study leader Julia Raifman.
"Still, permitting same-sex marriage reducesstructural stigma associated with sexual orientation. There may be something about having equal rights - even if they have no immediate plans to take advantage of them - that makes students feel lessstigmatized and more hopeful for the future," Raifman added.
The team analysed 32 of the 35 states that enacted same-sex marriage policies between January 1,2004 and January 1, 2015.
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The researchers used data from 1999 to 2015 to capture trends in suicide attempts five years before the first same-sex marriage policy went into effect in Massachusetts.
They were also able to compare data with states that did not enact same-sex marriage laws.
The findings indicated that state same-sex marriage legalisation policies were associated with a seven percent reduction in suicide attempts among high school students generally.
The association was concentrated in sexual minorities, with a 14 percent reduction in suicide attempts among gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents.
The effects persisted for at least two years. The states that did not implement same-sex marriage saw no reduction in suicide attempts among high school students. (ANI)