new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows an alarmingly
high rate of suicide attempts among transgender teens, particularly
14 percent of all adolescents in the study, “Transgender Adolescent
Suicide Behavior,” based on data from “Profiles of Student Life:
Attitudes and Behaviors” survey from the Search Institute, reported they
had attempted suicide. But 51 percent of transgender males reported at
least one attempt, the highest percentage of any gender identity group.
The second highest was among nonbinary teens, nearly 42 percent.
transgender females, about 30 percent reported a suicide attempt. The
rate was 28 percent for questioning teens, nearly 18 percent for
cisgender females, and 10 percent for cisgender males. Data came from
more than 120,000 adolescents, age 11 to 19, over three years, June 2012
to May 2015.
as nonheterosexual exacerbated the risk for all adolescents except for
those who did not exclusively identify as male or female (ie,
nonbinary),” notes an abstract from the study, published in the
September issue of the journal Pediatrics. “For
transgender adolescents, no other sociodemographic characteristic was
associated with suicide attempts.” The sociodemographic characteristics
tracked in the study include age, race, sexual orientation, and parents’
level of education.
study points up the need to enhance suicide prevention efforts among
transgender teens, while being mindful of variability within this
population, the study’s authors concluded.
Human Rights Campaign concurred, having found similar trends in its 2018
LGBTQ Youth Report. “These harrowing statistics
lay bare the urgency of building welcoming and safe communities for
LGBTQ young people, particularly for transgender youth,” said a
statement released by Ellen Kahn, the HRC Foundation's director of
children, youth, and families programs. “The distressing reality
reflected in this study is preventable, and our nation's schools,
political leaders, and communities can take concrete steps to combat
this epidemic. HRC will continue to work with schools, faith
communities, health care facilities, policy-makers, and families to
ensure that LGBTQ youth are able to live full, healthy lives.”
full study in Pediatrics is
available to subscribers only, but the abstract can be viewed here.