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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Transgender suicide risk is high

Half of female-to-male transgender teens have attempted suicide, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Suicide attempts also are much higher for adolescents who don’t identify exclusively as male or female (42 percent), trans female teens (30 percent) and those questioning their gender identity (28 percent.)

Skylar Marcus Lee, a transmale 16-year-old in Madison, Wisconsin, died by suicide in 2015 after struggling with depression.

Of cisgender teens, 18 percent of females and 10 percent of males have attempted suicide.

“Researchers examined survey data collected between 2012 and 2015 from more than 120,000 youth nationwide ranging in age from 11 to 19,” reports Reuters. Less than 1 percent of those surveyed identified as transgender.

“Peer, school, community, and family based rejection, discrimination, and victimization are associated with greater risk for suicidal behaviors,” said study leader Russell Toomey of the University of Arizona. “Transgender youth might respond to these experiences by internalizing this rejection (e.g., shame), feeling like a burden to others, or perceiving that they do not belong.”

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