Greater acceptance of gay, lesbian and bisexual teens can also help heterosexual teens, research shows.
According to studies led by Mark Hatzenbuehler, a researcher at Columbia University, communities that had highly supportive anti-bullying laws and policies had a 28 percent lower rate of suicide attempts among lesbian, gay and bisexual teens.
These communities also had a 14 percent decrease in the number of suicide attempts by heterosexual teens, he said.
Hatzenbuehler spoke Thursday at an “Equality Matters” lecture hosted by UNC’s Sexuality Studies program.
He emphasized the importance of structural stigmas such as state laws and policies.