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Am J Public Health. 2001 Jun;91(6):940-6.

Preventing sexual risk behaviors among gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents: the benefits of gay-sensitive HIV instruction in schools.

Author information

1
George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, 2175 K St, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037, USA. smblake1@aol.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study compared sexual risk behaviors of gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) and heterosexual adolescents and evaluated associations between gay-sensitive HIV instruction and risk behaviors of GLB youths.

METHODS:

A random sample of high school students and HIV education teachers completed surveys. Self-reported risk behaviors of heterosexual and GLB adolescents were compared, with control for student and community demographic characteristics. Sexual risk behaviors of GLB youths in schools with and without gay-sensitive instruction were compared.

RESULTS:

GLB youths reported more substance use, high-risk sexual behaviors, suicidal thoughts or attempts, and personal safety issues than did heterosexual youths (P < .001). Among those who were sexually active, GLB youths reported more lifetime and recent sexual partners than did heterosexuals (P < .001), and more of them reported alcohol use before last sex (P < .01) and a history of pregnancy (P < .001). GLB youths in schools with gay-sensitive instruction reported fewer sexual partners, less recent sex, and less substance use before last sex than did GLB youths in other schools (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings document increased risk behaviors among GLB youths and demonstrate the potential benefits of providing gay-sensitive HIV instruction in schools.

PMID:
11392938
PMCID:
PMC1446472
DOI:
10.2105/ajph.91.6.940
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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