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Teen Suicide Has Dropped Following Same-Sex Marriage Legalization

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Researchers believe there was a 7% reduction in teen suicide attempts, and a 14% decrease among gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers in particular.

In a new study, performed by scientists from John Hopkins University, Teen Suicide attempts dropped in the U.S. following the 2015 Supreme Court Decision which made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. Researchers believe there was a 7% reduction in teen suicide attempts, and a 14% decrease among gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers in particular.

The study, which can be found in the journal JAMA Pediatrics studied teen suicide attempts in 32 states, half of which already allowed same-sex marriage and the other half in states that same-sex marriage became legal because of the ruling. States that had already legalized same-sex marriages had seen no change in the attempts of teen suicide, whereas states that newly legalized marriage saw at least a 0.6 % change in attempts. That roughly equates to 134,000 fewer high school students attempting suicide.

There isn't a clear reason why there would be a connection between the two, however, the study's authors believe it has something to do with changing stigmas in society after the ruling.

"There are a number of potential mechanisms," lead study author Julia Raifman, a researcher at Johns Hopkins, told the Guardian. "Those include whether the policies themselves reduce perceived stigma among adolescents--and that may drive reductions in suicide attempts--but it is also possible that same-sex-marriage policies drive social change among parents, teachers, and peers of sexual minority adolescents. It is also possible that the campaigns around same-sex marriage policies are responsible for changing the experiences of LGB adolescents."

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