20 Oct 2009

Study highlights difficulties of same-sex attraction

9:07 pm on 20 October 2009

More than a third of high school students attracted to people of the same sex seriously considered attempting suicide, a new report shows.

The report, Results for Young People Attracted to Both Sexes, was led by the University of Auckland. Its findings were made public at Auckland's School of Population Health on Tuesday.

The report analysed data from a 2007 study of secondary school students, in which more than 8000 answered questions about sexual attraction.

It shows higher rates of drug and alcohol use, sexually transmitted infections and mental ill-health among same-sex-attracted students than for their opposite-sex-attracted peers.

The report shows about half of the students attracted to the same sex deliberately harmed themselves in the previous year.

Mathijs Lucassen, of the University of Auckland, says the study shows these students were more likely to be bullied at school and have signs of depression.