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Crisis. 1997;18(1):24-34.

Suicidal behaviors in homosexual and bisexual males.

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Department of Social Work Studies, University of Southamptom, England.


A stratified random sample of 750 males in Calgary, Canada, aged 18-27 years, were given questions on sexual activity and orientation. Mental health questions included a measure of suicidality and of acts of deliberate self-harm. A computerized response format, which has been established as a good method for eliciting sensitive personal data, ensured anonymity. Almost 13% of the males were classified as homosexual or bisexual on the basis of being currently homosexually active or by self-identification. Significantly higher rates of previous suicidal ideas and actions were reported by homosexually oriented males than by heterosexual males. Homosexually oriented males accounted for 62.5% of suicide attempters. These findings, which indicate that homosexual and bisexual males are 13.9 times more at risk for a serious suicide attempt, are consonant with previous findings. The predominant reason for the suicidality of these young males may be linked to the process of "coming out," especially for those who currently have high levels of depression. These results underscore the need for qualified services rarely available to homosexually oriented youth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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