Latest VT YRBS data shows queer youth still need support!
Every two years since 1993, the Department of Health Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs and the Department of Education Coordinated School Health Programs have sponsored the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).
The YRBS measures the prevalence of behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disease, and injury among youth. The YRBS is part of a larger effort to help communities increase the “resiliency” of young people by reducing high risk behaviors and promoting healthy behaviors.
The 2011 VT YRBS findings for queer youth in Vermont revealed some of these key findings:
- The rate of attempted suicide continues to decline for GLBQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and questioning youth). In 2009, 20% of GLBQ youth reported attempting suicide in the last 30 days – in 2011, that number dropped to 15%.
- While these numbers are showing it is getting better, GLBQ youth in Vermont are still five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
- GLBQ youth are four and five times more likely than heterosexual youth to use harder illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin.
- 4 in 10 GLBQ youth, or 35% of all GLBQ Vermont youth, report being bullied or harassed in the last 30 days.
- GLBQ youth are three times more likely than heterosexual youth to skip school due to feeling unsafe.
While the harmful behaviors are troubling, GLBQ youth are also engaging in positive parts of their life including:
- Half of all GLBQ youth in Vermont volunteer in their community every week.
- Nearly 60% of GLBQ youth agree that their teachers really care and encourage their development as young people.
- 6 out of every 10 GLBQ youth talk to their parents about school.
Read more about the VT YRBS findings for queer in the education section of our website.
Outright Vermont and our partners at the Department of Health YRBS division are working on a larger analysis of trends for queer youth over the last decade. These results will be shared soon!