HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 46 no. 1 (2013)

Sexual Orientation and Suicide Risk in the Philippines: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Sample of Young Filipino Men

Eric Julian Manalastas

Discipline: Psychology



This paper explores links between young men’s sexual orientation and suicide risk in the Philippines, to replicate findings in the global lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) psychology literature. I analyzed data from the men’s subsample of the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey 3, a national population-based study of 8,042 Filipino men ages 15 to 24. Significant disparities in suicide risk along sexual orientation were found among male youth, with Filipino gay and bisexual men reporting higher levels of suicide ideation, but not suicide attempt. The odds for suicide ideation was more than two times greater among young same-sex attracted Filipino men compared to heterosexuals (OR = 2.09; 95% CI 1.50-2.93). These effects were partly accounted for by depression, recent suicide attempt of a friend, and experiences of threat and victimization. Similar to findings in the global LGBT psychology literature, this analysis – the first to do so in the Philippine context – indicates that sexual orientation appears to be significantly associated with suicide risk, with young Filipino gay and bisexual Filipino men at disproportionately higher risk for suicide ideation than heterosexual peers.