Urgent Need for Research to Achieve Health Equity for Sexual and Gender Minority Youth

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Sexual and gender minority youth (SGMY) face multiple challenges to their mental and physical well-being, including higher rates of suicide, substance use, and victimization when compared with heterosexual and cisgender youth.1 This is not due to their being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ), but rather is a result of shame and stigma imposed by others because of their identity. In this issue of Pediatrics, Coulter et al2 review interventions that attempt to address these health inequities for SGMY in their article titled “Mental Health, Drug, and Violence Interventions for Sexual/Gender Minorities: A Systematic Review.” Among their most important findings are that only 9 interventions met criteria for inclusion.

Clearly, these findings signal an urgent need for more research. We agree with the authors’ call for inclusion of SGMY in large, population-based studies and more studies specific to SGMY with appropriate comparison groups whenever possible. 



Dowshen N, Ford C