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Gay and Lesbian Youth Introduction Living in fear That is the statement of 65 of gay and lesbian adolescents today Attending high school as a gay or lesbian is like going to war There is always the possibility of physical and mental abuse Not only do these teens have to endure abuse at school they also need to deal with abuse at home According to statistics reported by Remafedi 1987 50 of gaylesbian teens reported rejection and abuse by family Being a teenager whether gay or straight is a confusing time In most respects youths with same-sex attractions are similar to all youths independent of sexual desire That is an adolescent is an adolescent Regardless of sexual orientation youths need the love and respect of parents must negotiate their on-going relationship as they move toward adulthood are concerned with peer status desire love and sex and wonder about their future These are adolescent tasks that although affected by sexual orientation are confronted by all youths RC Savin-Williams 2001 The need of feeling accepted is overwhelming There are often moments of despair however most teenagers find ways of coping with stress Peer and parental support is key to developing healthy coping methods Gay and lesbian adolescents dont always have those support venues They often resort to substance abuse and in extreme cases suicide Unfortunately according to Shifrin Solis 1992 the use of illicit drugs is a main factor implicated in the suicide attempts among gay and lesbian youth The following paper will discuss the various stressors in a gay or lesbian adolescents life It will also address substance abuse and suicidal tendencies Homosexual adolescents are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems This theory will be supported in the following paper Stressors Associated with GayLesbian Youth Getting up in the morning getting dressed and going to school is the life for millions of teenagers in North America Although
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