06:45am Tuesday 14 July 2020

Changes for sexual minority youth

Sexual minority youth are young people attracted to others of the same sex or both sexes and those not sure of their sexual attractions.

Key findings in the University of Auckland research also highlighted that a greater proportion of students were ‘out’ in relation to their sexuality in 2012 (i.e. 53.1 percent had told someone close to them about their sexuality in 2012 compared to 31.3 percent in 2001).

Researchers also found that sexual minority youth were more likely to work as volunteers than exclusively opposite-sex attracted students and that the majority of sexual minority youth reported good general health. 

The results were drawn from the nationally representative New Zealand Adolescent Health Surveys conducted by the Adolescent Health Research Group in 2001, 2007 and 2012 of more than 25,000 young people.

About six out of every 100 students reported in the survey that they were attracted to people of the same sex, both sexes, or that they were not sure of their sexual attractions in each survey year. 

The study also showed that there has been no progress between 2001 and 2012 in relation to reducing bullying, depression and suicide attempts for sexual minority youth.  

“Sexual minority youth are important, vibrant and generous members of our communities,” says study lead author, Dr Mathijs Lucassen.  “Everyone can help address the worrying health and well-being disparities experienced by sexual minority youth.  We all need to create environments that eliminate bullying and mistreatment towards sexual minority people as well as gender diverse individuals.” 

The study was published by the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health (a journal of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

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