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New Study- A Supportive Family is The Answer to Healthy Gay Teens

December 7, 2010

Now a study reveals for the first time the impact that a supportive family can have on the physical and mental health of gay, lesbian and bisexual children. Researchers led by Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project, a research, education and policy initiative designed to better understand the role that sexual orientation has on family dynamics, found that teens from families who supported their sexual orientation were less likely to abuse drugs, experience depression or attempt suicide than those in less accepting families. The teens in the more supportive environments also self-reported higher levels of self-esteem and self-worth. (More on Time.com: Cyberbullying? Homophobia? Tyler Clementi’s Death Highlights Online Lawlessness)…

Ryan points out, for example, that parents who tried to show support by attempting to change their children’s sexual preferences — in order to help their children become more accepted in school and society — were instead perceived as rejecting their child’s individuality and sexual expression. “What we showed was that by trying to prevent a child from learning about their sexual identity or from being part of support groups, or by telling them they are ashamed of them or not talking about their sexual identity, these kinds of reactions are rejecting behaviors that are all linked to negative health and mental health outcomes in children when they become adults,” says Ryan. (More on Time.com: ‘It Gets Better’: Wisdom From Grown-Up Gays and Lesbians to Bullied Kids)
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/06/the-protective-effect-of-family-acceptance-for-gay-teens/#ixzz17PIkuksx

Positive behaviors included, for example, anything from openly discussing the child’s sexual orientation to participating as a family in gay, lesbian or bisexual events, while negative behaviors included not discussing the child’s sexual identity at all, or keeping it secret from family and friends. (More on Time.com: Florida’s Gay Adoption Ban Crumbles: The Dad Behind the Case Celebrates)

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/12/06/the-protective-effect-of-family-acceptance-for-gay-teens/#ixzz17PIR77gy


via The Answer to Healthy Gay Teens? A Supportive Family – TIME Healthland.