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This entry summarizes the research concerning suicide, suicide attempts, and suicide risks relative to sexual orientation. Suicide and sexual orientation are especially relevant to the study of sexuality and gender because sexual minorities historically have been widely oppressed. Hypothetically, this oppression may lead to increased risks for suicide attempts and completions.

The polemic about suicide and sexual orientation began with the 1989 Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide, in which social worker Paul Gibson controversially asserted that gay youth may account for up to 30% of all youth suicides annually, noting that they have a two to three times higher risk for attempted suicide. However, this figure was derived by overgeneralizing from suicide attempts to completed suicides and estimating that gay youth constitute ...

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