Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Suicide Statistics

Attempted Suicide Rates to Age 17, Broken Down by Sexual Orientation, Race and Gender

This graph is startling to look at. Apparently suicide attempts among heterosexual males of all races when under 18 are virtually nonexistent. Being female or queer creates a risk; the highest risks are for hetero Black females, followed by queer Black males - yet hetero Black males under 18 never under any circumstances (er, if one believes this graph), ever commit suicide at all.

Yet for females, apparently, being queer either lowers the suicide risk (as it does for Black females) or makes virtually no difference at all (as it does for White females).

The next graph, showing Attempted Suicide Rates to Age 20, is also interesting. Apparently those extra three years make quite a difference, as queerness has more of an effect on all races and genders (probably because a lot of these people had still identified as hetero when they were 17). Heterosexual females of all races are still at hugely greater risk than heterosexual males, but queer females of all races are at greater risk than heterosexual females. The highest risk group here is queer Black males, followed by queer White females.

The graph for Attempted Suicide Rates to Age 25 shows queerness having an even stronger effect (interesting - does this mean coming out isn't any easier for those who turn queer at 25 than for those who turn queer at 16?). All the proportions remain the same here as in the previous graph, except that now the highest risk group is queer White females, followed by queer Black males (so the two have switched places - do Black men's lives suddenly improve a whole lot between ages 20 and 25, or do White women's lives just go way downhill?).

And a related article I happened to stumble upon - the incident described below took place in Pennsylvania, by the way, not the Bible belt, and I am appalled at the lack of separation between church and state:

"Sterling's son, high school football player Marcus Wayman, was in a car with a 17-year-old male when police questioned the two and found condoms while searching the car. They arrested them for under-age drinking (though Wayman was the sober designated driver), and at the police station lectured them on the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality.
Officers also threatened to tell Wayman's grandfather that he was gay. Wayman went home and committed suicide."

from "Trial Starts Monday in Lawsuit Against Police Who Threatened To Out Gay Teen, Causing His Suicide" by Mary Ellen Peterson
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