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CDC Report Shows LGB Students Have Bigger Health Risks

Lesbian, gay and bisexual students were more likely to experience dating violence, attempt suicide and try illegal drugs.

A new government report shows that gay, lesbian and bisexual students experience a higher rate of sexual violence than their heterosexual peers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found that, among other things, LGB students were more than three times as likely to be forced to have sex and more than twice as likely to experience dating violence.

The CDC described the report as the “first nationally representative study of U.S. lesbian, gay and bisexual high school students.” The report looked at 118 health behaviors in the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Overall, 23 percent of LGB students reported experiencing sexual dating violence while 18 percent reported being physically forced to have sex.

The survey also looked at various health risks and found that 34 percent of LGB students reported being bullied at school and 28 percent reported being bullied online. Those figures were just 19 percent and 14 percent for heterosexual students respectively.

RELATED: Study: School Disciplinary Procedures, Policies Add to LGBTQ Student Struggles

LGB students were also found to be at a greater risk of destructive behaviors. More than 40 percent of LGB students said they’d seriously considered suicide and 12 percent said they’d attempted suicide in the last 12 months. Additionally, LGB students were more than five times as likely to report using illegal drugs.

To offer solutions, the CDC pointed to research that shows the importance of school, community and family support for LGB youth. It also encouraged public-health and school-based policies to support safe environments for LGB students and educational programs for the families of LGB youth.

Read Next: Coercive Control on Campus Can Have Deadly Consequences: Do You Know the Signs?

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