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Pro-Gay Programs in School Lowers Problem Alcohol Use in All Students

Update Date: Aug 15, 2013 05:10 PM EDT
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Anti-homophobia programs in schools may help reduce binge drinking for all students, a new study suggests.

New research reveals that anti-homophobia policies or gay-straight alliances (GSAs) that have been in place for three years or more have a positive effect on both gay and straight students' problem alcohol use in Canadian high schools.

"These strategies appear to be helpful not only for LGBTQ students, but all students," senior author Professor Elizabeth Saewyc, from the University of British Columbia, said in a news release.

"Interventions that can make schools safer for LGBTQ youth may actually reduce harassment for straight students, too. Schools should consider including GSAs and anti-homophobia policies as part of their alcohol and drug abuse prevention strategies," Saewyc added.

Researchers found lesbian and bisexual girls and heterosexual boys and girls in schools with established GSAs were all less likely to binge drink and experience problems associated with alcohol or drug use. Heterosexual boys and girls in schools with anti-homophobia policies were also less likely to binge drink

However, there were no significant effects for gay or bisexual boys.

The findings are published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine

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