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Aust N Z J Public Health. 1999 Dec;23(6):643-6.

Same-sex attraction, drug injection and binge drinking among Australian adolescents.

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Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (formerly the Centre for the Study of Sexually Transmissible Diseases), La Trobe University, Victoria.



To document the prevalence of same-sex attraction among students in years 10 and 12 in Australian Government high schools and to assess the association between same-sex attraction, binge drinking and drug injection.


Cross-section survey by anonymous, self-administered questionnaire of 3,387 students in Years 10 and 12 of the Government school system in Australia.


Approximately 6% of respondents reported being currently attracted to members of their own sex. Being attracted to members of the same-sex was associated with more frequent binge drinking among boys and girls, and a three- to four-fold increase in the likelihood of reporting injecting drug use both over the lifetime and within the previous 12 months.


Adolescents attracted to members of the same-sex report engaging in elevated levels of health-limiting behaviours. There is an urgent need for further research to document the reasons for this. It is recommended that health promotion activities directed at moderating young people's drug and alcohol practices explicitly acknowledge the over-representation of same-sex attracted young people in their target audience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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