Queer kids as young as 10 suffer from depression at alarming rate

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Queer kids are four times more likely to self-harm with suicidal intent compared to straight youth. They’re also far more likely to experience symptoms of depression from as young as 10 years old. These symptoms will persist then into their 20s.

Researchers from the University of College London also found gay, queer youth will have worse mental health overall. ‘We’ve known for some time that sexual minority youth have worse mental health outcomes,’ study author Dr Gemma Lewis said. ‘It’s quite concerning that we’ve found this trend starts as early as 10 years old, and worsens throughout adolescence. The study is the first of its kind in the UK, questioning 4,828 young people. Participants responded to questions about depression seven times from age 10 to 21, and at 16 and 21 were asked if they self-harmed in the past year.

While depressive symptoms increased throughout their teenage years for all groups, the increase was far greater for queer teens. Self-harm was more common for non-straight teens at both 16 and 21. At 18, queer teens were twice as likely to fulfil the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of depression.

Madeleine Irish, one of the authors of the study, said the sense of feeling different may affect mental health in children. She suggested a range of stressors could be involved. These can include ‘discrimination, stigmatisation, social isolation, shame or fear or rejection, including at home or at school.’

Dr Lewis added: ‘The fact we found mental health disparities at such a young age suggests that early interventions may be useful to prevent and treat such mental health challenges. ‘Despite changes to public perceptions and attitudes in recent years, gay, lesbian and bisexual youth remain at increased risk of long-term mental health problems—addressing this inequality should be a research, policy, clinical and public mental health priority.’

Comments 9

  1. Sadly, humans are such a social animal that not belonging affects us so strongly. It is emotional, not logical, or it could be reasoned that what we want to belong to is deficient and surely not worth dying over. At least a couple of my classmates committed suicide over their sexuality. That is a reason why accepting transgendered persons is important even if one does not understand how they are. What we can offer others, each other, is an accepting environment, where people can have a community even with their differences. Our community, of all communities, should tolerate differences. Of course, it is complicated and there are not simple answers. One does not have to love everyone else in order to see that our similarities give us a community we seek and even need. That is why I try to be polite with others in order to make this a more welcoming area that Josh has fostered for these years. It is the least that older, more experienced people can do for younger and simply other people, to not be obnoxious, repulsive, hateful in these public areas.

    1. “That is a reason why accepting transgendered persons is important even if one does not understand how they are.”

      Excellent statement, thank you. Now, I wonder, did horsey read and even possibly understand/agree with it?

  2. I know I’m going off the rails here and way, way out of the box, but this queer kid angst was very rare among the kids of my generation. Until your junior year in high school, when all the straight kids were finally getting laid, boys were happy to jerk off (and more – lots more)together, and as long as you didn’t cross any defining lines (kissing! Saying ‘I love you!’ or anything else overt like being caught staring in the locker room) and didn’t act like a sissy, you were fine. In other words, homosexuality almost literally didn’t exist. Because just about all the guys had taken at least one walk on the wild side with each other, it was mostly left unmentioned. In fact, sexuality was so private a thing, even “locker room” talk seldom named names. The vast majority of gays and bisexuals simply got with the program and muddled through school until they graduated, reached adulthood, and could go to their own bars, adult arcades, and bathhouses. And it worked.

    Let there be no misunderstanding – the fight for gay rights has been a good thing – everybody should be free to live and love as they please. But there have been some unintended consequences. With government, feminist, and activist intervention, the normal stages of growing up have been corrupted. Boys no longer see each other’s bodies going through puberty together in swimming pools and locker room showers. Exaggerated sensitivity and arbitrary, unreasonable, almost deranged modesty has made casual nudity among boys verboten. Why? Back then, when we “did it” on sleepovers and camp outs, we quickly learned that there were show-ers and grow-ers and a small soft dick was likely to be just fine when it mattered. Sexuality has been so hyper-ventilated and politicized, all the fun has been replaced by fear. Every sex act is now either gay or straight. Do this or do that and you’re labeled.

    Teenage boys usually have to get off at least once, and more often twice a day, and when you spend all day with a good friend, and then spend the night together, your personal “schedules” were bound to cross, so it was OK to just take care of business together. It was situational – a matter of availability, convenience, and simply recreational. The thought of sexual preference or sexual orientation never occurred – shared orgasms were just that, it was your relationship preference that mattered and maybe got you labeled.

    I look at our hyper-jacked up, totally inhibited, ultra-sensitive and sexually frightened and on-edge youth culture today – totally out of synch with explicit sex-ed and the everywhere availability of pornography, and wonder if we were freer back then, or freer now.

    1. “but this queer kid angst was very rare among the kids of my generation.”

      Not for boys who were even slightly considered “fem” (or in the nomenclature of the time, a bit, “nellie”) — back then. I witnessed quite a bit of the bullying and teasing of certain students. I never did it myself, because even though I was still pretty young, I felt and understood something (that at the time, I couldn’t specifically identify) about them within myself. And it wasn’t that rare — at least, not in the “typical” mid-west area of America.

      You even admitted to it in a later statement:
      “or anything else overt … and didn’t act like a sissy, you were fine.”

    2. “I look at our hyper-jacked up, totally inhibited, ultra-sensitive and sexually frightened and on-edge youth culture today – totally out of synch with explicit sex-ed and the everywhere availability of pornography, and wonder if we were freer back then, or freer now.

      Hmmmm. Now I’m confused ….. what was/IS it that CAUSED all that mass inhibition, sexually frightened and on-edge youth culture?

      Can you help me, horsey? Can you PINPOINT the REASONS for all that unnecessary sexual angst among teens …. that you should know? Can you?

      Do you think, maybe possibly it could be ….. oh, I don’t know, the first thing that comes to most logical minds ……religion, specifically, chrisssssstianity?

      1. What causes all the angst nowadays is, as I said, the labeling of behaviors, and those that do them. Back then, when 2 horny straight boys jerked-off together, traded blowjobs and even took turns topping and bottoming, as long as they didn’t break any of the ‘rules,’ and weren’t caught in flagrante delicto by mom or dad, it wasn’t gay or straight, it was just boys being boys taking care of business.

        They didn’t consider themselves or what they were doing to be queer, it was all just hands-on experience and good clean fun. But the education and gay activist establishments don’t buy it. Both are ideologically vested in mainstreaming all sexuality, justifying, accepting, and of course, labeling everything and all involved. Agendas can be a beotch.

        Everybody did it, nobody talked about it, and with due diligence paid to discretion and time-place security, it was a perfect solution to the needs attending adolescence. The careless who got caught or boys who really were gay and let their emotions get the better of them, were doomed, as the careless always are anyway.

        Today, any sexual contact between boys is GAY. And that means the boys are GAY. No ifs and or buts, the decision and the stigma, is final. Heck, even straight sex requires a notarized, witnessed consent form in triplicate. Anything less and #MeToo will hand you your ass on a platter. Sex is so fraught with uncertainty and risk that recent stats show that young-uns are having less then they used to, despite all the education and wide availability of contraceptives. It’s so bad that many kids would rather communicate over their smartphones than meet in real life. Lots of kids don’t even bother to get driver’s licenses anymore – why bother? Everybody and everywhere is all on the phone. They have nowhere to go and definitely nobody to see. And the cause is ‘education’ and feminism and activism – not religion. Religion has never had less influence over our culture than it does today, admitted theism is at an all-time high, and the Democratic Party has all but renounced anything to do with it. The war on Christmas is a full-court press.

    3. The problems that feminine or gay males faced back then were different then than now – largely because of GENDER SEGREGATION which existed then more than now. Gay males had more access to straight men, which is what they still want today (but can’t get the way they used to). Yes, Penboy is right, religion had something to do with some of these changes, but so did the decline of agriculture (which was a brute-force male-only occupation) and the decline of gender segregation in schools (when boys and girls sat on separate sides of the classroom, had separate school entrances, etc.). The gender-mixing has had a lot of unintended consequences, including (from a cynical point of view) unending attacks on malehood and erasure of all the things that males have done for civilization which women never would have worked towards under those circumstances (such as just about everything which has brought us today’s economy, technology, infrastructure, finance, etc.). But yes, the right wing Christians have mobilized sexual fear to line their ranks with the sex (especially pederastic)-fearing males (self-hating closeted lovers of boys and young men?), and that has made things difficult for the young gay and feminine males.

  3. I remember a tough 18-y-o guy coming into work one day in 1954 and telling everyone about this bj he had gotten from a queer in Greenwich Village. It never entered anyone’s mind for one second that there might have been anything gay about him. There was also the common belief, even among some sophisticated adults, that only a fairy would go down on a woman. And guys had stories to tell about having witnessed it. A lesbian I knew told me of bringing home a gay friend and having her macho Italian father insult him and throw him out of the house because he “knew what the fairy wanted from his daughter.” This was recounted in front an elderly rehearsal pianist and vocal coach who had been in show business since she was 15 and who assured me this behavior was known fact when she saw my skepticism. I know how hard this is to believe, but it’s true. Go back another generation and a man could have what was for all intents and purposes a man for a wife and still be considered normal by other men as long as he presented as a tough guy. You were judged a fa**ot, queer, fairy, etc., by how you acted, not by what you did. All Frenchmen were suspect to American men because they were known to eat pussy. I heard the same vocal coach opine that no “real” man would go down on a woman and she was talking about three-time world boxing champion Tony Canzoneri. You don’t have to go back to ancient Greece to find practices we now consider unthinkable that were considered perfectly normal back in the day.

    1. Uncle Junior said very embarrassed in The Sopranos about his penchant for going down on women, “shut up today, don’t say anything to anyone about this! there’s not a lot of difference between sucking cock and licking pussy!”

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