Stress Leads to Binge Drinking in LGBT + Teens
A recent study among 1,232 teens between the ages of 12 and 18 through OutProud: The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth suggested that minority stress could explain why LGBT+ teens engage in binge drinking so much more often than heterosexual teens. This type of stress is often due to victimization and homophobia. Previous studies have suggested those who fall within this group routinely experience higher rates of problem physical and mental health due to the same reasons – discrimination, rejection, harassment, concealment of sexual orientation, and internalized homophobia.
Sixteen percent of those who responded identified themselves as lesbians, while 84 percent identified as gay males. Participants suggested they experienced distress when they faced any type of victimization or if they had internalized homophobia. They also reported the same level of stress if they made their sexual orientation known.
Both respondents who lived with their parents, as well as those who connected with the LGBT + teens community found some level of protection against binge drinking.