Are You Sure More Than Half of LGBTQ Youth Have an Eating Disorder? Because Science Says Otherwise

Are You Sure More Than Half of LGBTQ Youth Have an Eating Disorder? Because Science Says Otherwise Are You Sure More Than Half of LGBTQ Youth Have an Eating Disorder? Because Science Says Otherwise

March 9, 20181 min read
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Each day, thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth wake up to a world filled with homonegativity, violence, gender shaming, bathroom bills that attempt to legislate the most private daily experiences, and family and peer rejection. Research has consistently found violent experiences to be prevalent for this group of young people. For example, gay and lesbian teenagers are respectively eight and 10 times more likely to be victimized at school than their heterosexual peers (D’Augelli), and national meta-studies find similar results (Friedman et al).


It’s true that these victimization experiences have resulted in some pretty negative outcomes for LGBTQ young people over time. Studies have estimated that LGBTQ youth are three to four times more likely to report an internalizing disorder (e.g., anxiety, depression), and two to five times more likely to report externalizing disorders (e.g., substance use) than their heterosexual and cisgender peers. Nationally representative studies, like Monitoring the Future and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, also find similar disparities, with higher rates of substance use, depression and suicidality among nearly all sexual and gender minority groups tracked.


With this knowledge in mind, I was shocked to wake up and read headlines purporting “more than half of LGBTQ youth have an eating disorder” on articles published by Teen Vogue and the Huffington Post. At first, I was saddened to think this statement could be true -- that is, until the reality of how ostentatious this claim was set in.


More at https://dworakpeck.usc.edu/news/are-you-sure-more-half-of-lgbtq-youth-have-eating-disorder-because-science-says-otherwise


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  • Jeremy Goldbach
    Jeremy Goldbach Associate Professor of Social Work

    Dr. Goldbach focuses on the relationship between social stigma, stress, and health among minority populations.

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