Suicide attempts among gay and bisexual men: Lifetime prevalence and antecedents

Jay P. Paul*, Joseph Catania, Lance Pollack, Judith Moskowitz, Jesse Canchola, Thomas Mills, Diane Binson, Ron Stall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts and psychosocial correlates in a large population-based sample of men who have sex with men (MSM). Methods. A telephone probability sample of US urban MSM (n=2881) were interviewed between November 1996 and February 1998. Results. Twenty-one percent had made a suicide plan; 12% had attempted suicide (almost half of those 12% were multiple attempters). Most who attempted suicide made their first attempt before age 25. Although prevalence of parasuicide (i.e., attempted suicide) has remained constant across birth cohorts, mean age at initial attempts has declined. Conclusions. MSM are at elevated risk for suicide attempts, with such risk clustered earlier in life. Some risk factors were specific to being gay or bisexual in a hostile environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1338-1345
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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