By Dr. Jan Hittelman

Every two years, the Boulder Valley School District participates in the countywide Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provide reliable local data on risk behaviors among our high school students. A variety of risk factors are considered, ranging from wearing bicycle helmets to suicidal behavior. Within the population of high school students assessed, there are always certain subgroups that are at greater risk. One such group is teens that identify themselves as having a GLBQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, questioning) sexual orientation. In the most recent 2011 data, this unfortunate trend continues to be observed. Here are some examples summarized in the chart below:

Health   Behavior Heterosexual   Youth LGBQ Youth
Harassed on school property 25.5% 57.3%
Felt sad or hopeless 23.2% 60.2%
Seriously considered attempting suicide 12% 49.3%
Attempted suicide 4.7% 37.3%

You can download all of the local YRBS results by going to: