Year: 2021 Source: LGBT Health. (2019). 6(1), 9-14. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2018.0194 SIEC No: 20210793

Purpose: The aim was to assess the associations of antibullying U.S. state statutes that enumerate sexual orientation with exposure to bullying and other stressors and with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in sexual minority and non sexual minority youth.

Methods: We analyzed data from the 2015 national school-based Youth Risk Behavior Survey, representative of 9th through 12th grade students attending public and private schools in the United States. We reviewed each state’s antibullying statutes and classified them on enumeration.

Results: Antibullying state laws that enumerate sexual orientation were associated with lower risk for suicide attempts and serious attempts requiring medical attention and lower risk for forced sexual intercourse. They were also associated with feeling safe at school or on the way to or from school. Results did not differ by sexual orientation.

Conclusions: Enumeration of sexual orientation was associated with reduced stressors and suicide attempts, but it is insufficient to remove significant disparities based on sexual orientation. Additional policies and practices are required to address persistent sexual orientation disparities in exposure to bullying and suicidal behavior.