Danish gays and lesbians consider suicide more often than heterosexuals

February 5th, 2015

This article is more than 8 years old.

The largest study in Denmark about sexuality reveals that in spite of the liberal environment, bisexual and heterosexual people experience many psychosocial problems

Bisexuals and homosexuals attempt to commit suicide three times more often than heterosexuals, according to a fresh analysis of data collected 15 years ago.. 

The National Institute of Public Health's study also reveals that gay men describe their sexual life as 'bad' or 'very bad' more often than heterosexual men.

Similarly, more lesbian or bisexual women have experienced sexual coercion than heterosexual women.

The largest survey ever
"The figures reveal a rather startling inequality in psychosocial and sexual health," Christian Graugaard, a professor of sexology at Aalborg University, told Politiken.  

The study is the largest of its kind in Denmark and is based on answers from about 8,500 Danes in 2000.

"Although the figures are a few years old, they are probably still topical and extremely worrying. There is nothing to suggest that things have changed since 2000," Graugaard commented.

Not so tolerant after all
The study shows that more than one in three bi or homosexual women have experienced sexual violence, and that one in five have considered suicide. 

The same goes for gay men, while in the heterosexual group only every 12th person wanted to commit suicide.

"We don't know for sure what is the cause. But it's surprising in such a liberal bastion as Denmark, a pioneer when it comes to gay rights," Graugaard noted.

"Perhaps our society isn't as inclusive as we would like to think."

Feeling inferior
Søren Laursen from the national association of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders is not at all surprised by the results.

"Homosexuals are unhappy because of stigmatisation, discrimination and the negative self-image they may have, thus feeling inferior to others due to their sexuality," Laursen told Politiken.

In 2009, the Centre for Alternative Social Analysis (CASA) conducted a large study among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people that showed young people aged 16-29 are prone to experiencing more bouts of anxiety, nervousness and unease than young heterosexuals. 


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