Sunday, February 26, 2017

Does allowing homosexual marriage prevent suicide?

The article below implies that it does -- even though no suicide statistics among homosexuals were examined.  It looks at reports of suicide attempts among homosexuals and concludes that such reports were slightly less frequent among people who live in States that allow homosexual marriage.  The effect was however almost entirely due to the homosexuals in the sample.  It was basically only homosexuals in right to marry states who were less likely to report suicide attempts. 

There are many problems with the study, not least being the notorious unreliability of self-reports. I am feeling in a charitable mood, however, so I will allow that the finding is an an accurate and reliable one.  What inferences might we draw from that? 

The first thing to note is that States with homo-marriage laws are likely to be more tolerant and acceptant of homosexuals generally.  So the finding boils down to saying that homosexuals feel less stressed in places where they are better accepted. That should surprise no-one:  A bit like proving grass is green

Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts

Julia Raifman et al.


Importance:  Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years. Adolescents who are sexual minorities experience elevated rates of suicide attempts.

Objective:  To evaluate the association between state same-sex marriage policies and adolescent suicide attempts.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  This study used state-level Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2015, which are weighted to be representative of each state that has participation in the survey greater than 60%. A difference-in-differences analysis compared changes in suicide attempts among all public high school students before and after implementation of state policies in 32 states permitting same-sex marriage with year-to-year changes in suicide attempts among high school students in 15 states without policies permitting same-sex marriage. Linear regression was used to control for state, age, sex, race/ethnicity, and year, with Taylor series linearized standard errors clustered by state and classroom. In a secondary analysis among students who are sexual minorities, we included an interaction between sexual minority identity and living in a state that had implemented same-sex marriage policies.

Interventions:  Implementation of state policies permitting same-sex marriage during the full period of YRBSS data collection.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Self-report of 1 or more suicide attempts within the past 12 months.

Results:  Among the 762 678 students (mean [SD] age, 16.0 [1.2] years; 366 063 males and 396 615 females) who participated in the YRBSS between 1999 and 2015, a weighted 8.6% of all high school students and 28.5% of 231 413 students who identified as sexual minorities reported suicide attempts before implementation of same-sex marriage policies. Same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 0.6–percentage point (95% CI, –1.2 to –0.01 percentage points) reduction in suicide attempts, representing a 7% relative reduction in the proportion of high school students attempting suicide owing to same-sex marriage implementation. The association was concentrated among students who were sexual minorities.

Conclusions and Relevance:  State same-sex marriage policies were associated with a reduction in the proportion of high school students reporting suicide attempts, providing empirical evidence for an association between same-sex marriage policies and mental health outcomes.


UPDATE:  Because the findings above were clearly inconclusive, I made only a few desultory comments on them.  Andrew Bolt, however has subsequently offered a fuller critique of them

Toppling statues of slave traders doesn't redeem Britain's history. It erases it

Edward Colston: both a philanthropist and a slave trader

On a recent visit to Maidstone, Kent, I found myself in a conversation about slavery. It had started with ancestry (I was there to see an old family portrait). My companion had discovered that among her ancestors was an illustrious Royal Academy portrait painter. Sadly, she had also found out that he made his name painting many notable slave traders of the day. She was, she said, ashamed of the man, but reading about him had been an education.

Take a walk around any notable town in Britain and it won’t be hard to find links to the slave trade. Churches, monuments, artefacts, mahogany furniture, street names, old banks and warehouses, even the family silver and the habit of putting sugar in your tea: try hard enough and you could trace back all sorts of things to the abominable crime of trading human chattels.


Police Cancel ‘High Five Friday’ Because ‘Undocumented Children’ Might Feel Uncomfortable

Until recently, this is what little kids in Northampton, Massachusetts saw when they came to elementary school on Fridays: an officer who wanted to give them a high five.

The Northhampton Police Department started the program in early December with the blessing of local school officials, sending out cops once a week to high-five students. That’s over.

“While we received a lot of support on social media, we also heard a few concerns about the program,” the department announced on Saturday. They said Chief Jody Kasper got invited to a school committee meeting to address potential problems. Someone brought up the possibility that some kids would be uncomfortable seeing police at the beginning of a school day, while other people questioned the long-term efficacy. This conversation led to the program getting temporarily paused. A follow up meeting with over a dozen members of the public resulted in the program getting axed for good.

“Concerns were shared that some kids might respond negatively to a group of uniformed officers at their school,” the NPD said. “People were specifically concerned about kids of color, undocumented children, or any children who may have had negative experiences with the police.”

Now they’re thinking of alternative programs, though they still invite high fives, low fives, and fist bumps. We’ve reached out for further comment.


Democratic Governor Tells Cops Not to Obey Trump Immigration Policy

Connecticut’s Democratic governor, Dannel Malloy, told local police and law enforcement that they basically don’t have to abide by federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants. On top of that, he pretty much encouraged them not to cooperate with federal agents all together.

“ICE detainer requests are requests, they are not warrants or orders and this should only be honored as set forth in Connecticut law, unless accompanied by a judicial warrant,” Malloy said in a letter sent to local law enforcement on Wednesday.

Malloy’s letter was sent a day after the Trump administration issued sweeping guidelines that targeted millions of immigrants. Trump’s policy prioritizes immigrants nationwide who have been accused or convicted of a crime, but could theoretically include many more including those arrested for something simple like traffic violations.

Malloy’s letter tells local law enforcement that they should not give ICE agents access to people in local custody for questioning, and should refer any such requests up to command. While the letter contends police should not “impede federal immigration activity,” Connecticut sure doesn’t want to make it easy for the feds to enforce Trump’s executive order.  The letter notes that under federal law, local agents are not required to enforce immigration law, and they are encouraged not to help ICE whatsoever.

“Acting as an arm of ICE may undermine Connecticut’s many efforts to incorporate the principles of community policy in the Police Officers Stands and Training Council’s policies and practices, policies and practices designed to strengthen police and community relations,” the letter reads. It also encourages police not to collect information about a person’s immigration status.

In addition to a letter to local law enforcement, the Connecticut governor also sent a letter to local school districts advising them on what to do if ICE agents turn up at schools. The letter emphasized that the U.S. Supreme Court has given children of undocumented children the right to obtain a public education.

“Above all, we are obligated protect the rights afforded to all our residents and ensure that students attend safe, welcoming schools. The best approach for local communities is to have a plan in place so that everyone in our state, including young students, are supported respectfully and fairly under the laws of our state and our nation,” Malloy said in a statement.

In his executive order, Trump threatened to withhold federal funding to cities which continue to institute “sanctuary city” policies.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, Template">AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: