AMA Wire

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013

News for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Physicians

Study: It gets better for gay teens, but health risks remain

Study: It gets better for gay teens, but health risks remain

A new study confirms that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) teens face less bullying as they get older, reports news@JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association blog.

The study adds some quantitative support for a popular online campaign that began in 2010 to provide encouragement to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths facing discrimination. However, challenges remain; the authors discovered that important disparities persist for gay youths and early bullying has later emotional consequences that may affect health.

The study, by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Brunel University in the United Kingdom, provides longitudinal data that confirm bullying decreases over time for LGB youths. They found that although more than half of LGB youths reported that they were bullied around age 13 and 14, less than 10 percent reported they were bullied by the time they reach age 19 or 20.

Although most LGB youths reported that treatment by their peers improved over time, many face lasting consequences from early maltreatment. For example, the authors found that LGB young adults had significantly higher levels of emotional distress than their heterosexual peers, and the authors attributed 50 percent of this distress to early victimization.

The AMA has created a resource page to help physicians understand important LGBT health issues to better serve their LGBT patients.

GLMA launches GLBT policy compendium

The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) recently announced the launch of a new resource: Compendium of Health Profession Association LGBT Policy & Position Statements.

Organization policy and position statements are an important tool in advocacy efforts to ameliorate health disparities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals and to improve the climate for LGBT health professionals. This resource puts all of these tools in one accessible location.

GLMA hopes that additional health profession associations will look to the compendium as a guide in crafting their own LGBT policy.

While the resource contains policy from numerous medical associations, GLMA specifically thanked the AMA and the AMA Advisory Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues for their contributions to the resource.