The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study recently showing a link between faith and suicide among LGBTQ youth. This is what all that bigoted rhetoric from the evangelical Christians in and out of the church is doing to our children.
The study shows how religion helps protect most people from thoughts of suicide. Sadly, the exact opposite can be said when you drill down into the LGBTQ community. Queer youths aged 18-30 showed a marked increase in suicidal thoughts when they identified religion as an important aspect in their lives.
21,247 students were surveyed in total by John R. Blosnich, of West Virginia University’s Injury Control Research Center and his co-authors.
Of these, 2.3% identified as gay or lesbian, 3.3% identified as bisexual, 1.1% responded they were questioning. 0.2% identified as trans—too small of a sample size to be statistically valid.
For heterosexual students, religious importance in their lives decreased attempted suicide rates by 17%. Their queer counterparts were shown to be 38% more like to have suicidal thoughts than a lesbian and gay student who said religion wasn’t important. The accumulated effect, according to the study, was a 52% increase in suicidal ideation for lesbians alone.
Things are worse for those questioning. Subjects that identified as questioning and religious attempted suicide recently at three times the rate of their questioning peers who said religion wasn’t important.
Photo by George Webster