A new study released by the Juvenile American Medical Association indicates that legalization of same-sex marriage has reduced adolescent suicide attempts.
Using information from 47 states, same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7 percent reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt over the past year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-to-24-year-olds.
The report concludes that some of the reasons for reduction in suicide include policies preventing same-sex marriage constitute social stigma and increased media attention that accompanies legalization includes increased social support.
“For each of these reasons, same-sex marriage policies may reduce the stigma experienced by adolescents who are sexual minorities,” the report concludes.
Prior research suggests an association between same-sex marriage policies and mental health.
This trend has been noticed for awhile. After Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, “expenditures on mental health care significantly decreased among men who have sex with men in the year following legalization of same-sex marriage relative to the year prior.”