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Youth survey finds gay students at risk

Wed 27 May 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

A major New Zealand survey of over 9,000 secondary school students suggests that same-sex-attracted youth experience greater levels of depression, suicide and self harm, are less likely to use condoms, and report higher levels of bullying and discrimination. "The Youth '07 findings show significant gaps between the health and wellbeing of same-sex and opposite-sex-attracted youth," says Dr Simon Denny, Principal Investigator for Youth '07. While the rates of suicide or suicide attempts among same-sex-attracted youth have remained constant between 2001 and 2007, rates were observed to decrease among opposite-sex attracted youth. "Less than half of same-sex attracted males reported using condoms in their last sexual encounter, and this is reflected in the fact that same-sex attracted youth are more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection," explains Denny. "Three times as many same-sex attracted youths reported bullying and intimidation than their opposite-sex attracted counterparts. The figures are very concerning." Youth'07 is New Zealand's second national Youth Health and Wellbeing Survey, following on from the first national youth health survey conducted in 2001. The surveys were conducted by the Adolescent Health Research Group at the University of Auckland, aiming to provide accurate information on health and wellbeing issues among secondary school students. A full report on Youth '07 analysis related to same sex attracted youth will be released next month.    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 27th May 2009 - 10:25am

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