A U.S. government survey shows that gay, lesbian and bisexual high school students are more than twice as likely than their classmates to have been assaulted on a date and more than four times more likely to have been raped.
The national survey also found that gay teens in grades 9-12 are more likely to have been bullied at school, with about 1 in 3 gay teens reporting bullying, while 1 in 5 straight teens saying they were bullied.
Other findings from the research, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show that gay teens are far more likely to have attempted suicide, with about 25 percent saying they have tried to kill themselves in the past year. By contrast, only about 6 percent of straight teens reported recent suicide attempts.
Gay teens are also more likely than their straight peers to engage in risky behaviors, including taking drugs, drinking alcohol and smoking.
The findings are based on responses to an anonymous survey by more than 15,000 students.
The CDC says the survey is the first of its kind to look into these issues from students across the country, in both urban and rural areas. Previous research has focused on only a few states and cities.
Earlier this week, a survey by pollsters at GenForward found that young people in the United States overwhelmingly support the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgenders to adopt children and have equal employment opportunities.
Broad majorities of young adults, aged 18-30, also support insurance coverage for transgender health issues.
The survey was carried out by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.