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J Homosex. 2003;46(1-2):137-57.

Health risk-factors for gay American Indian and Alaska Native adolescent males.

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University of Oklahoma, School of Social Work, Norman 73019, USA.


Having multiple identities as a homosexual American Indian or Alaska Native adolescent male increases the likelihood for poorer health and diminished well-being. This study assessed the differences in self-perceived health status between gay adolescent males and their heterosexual counterparts. A national nonrepresentative sample of 5,602 Indian and Native adolescent males was surveyed about issues of sexual behavior, physical and sexual abuse, mental health status, substance use, attitudes about school, participation in violence, and access to health care. Results indicate that there were no real differences between gay and heterosexual male respondents for substance use or attitudes about school. Statistically significant differences were found, however, in areas of mental health, as well as physical and sexual abuse. Gay adolescents were twice as likely to have thought of or attempted suicide. Gay adolescents were twice as likely to have been physically abused and nearly six times more likely to have been sexually abused. Gay American Indian or Alaska Native adolescent males constitute a very vulnerable population and are clearly in need of targeted health and social services. Unfortunately, the benefits seen by adults of the "two-spirited" gay and lesbian American Indian movement have not been accessible to Indian and Native adolescents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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