Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Public Health. 2014 Oct;104(10):1957-63. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302037. Epub 2014 Aug 14.

Sexual identity, partner gender, and sexual health among adolescent girls in the United States.

Author information

At the time of the study, Rachel G. Riskind, Samantha L. Tornello, and Charlotte J. Patterson were with the Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Brendan C. Younger was a private consultant in Charlottesville, VA.



We examined associations between adolescent girls' sexual identity and the gender of their sexual partners, on one hand, and their reports of sexual health behaviors and reproductive health outcomes, on the other.


We analyzed weighted data from pooled Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (2005 and 2007) representative of 13 US jurisdictions, focusing on sexually experienced girls in 8th through 12th grade (weighted n=6879.56). We used logistic regression with hierarchical linear modeling to examine the strength of associations between reports about sexual orientation and sexual and reproductive health.


Sexual minority girls consistently reported riskier behaviors than did other girls. Lesbian girls' reports of risky sexual behaviors (e.g., sex under the influence of drugs or alcohol) and negative reproductive health outcomes (e.g., pregnancy) were similar to those of bisexual girls. Partner gender and sexual identity were similarly strong predictors of all of the sexual behaviors and reproductive health outcomes we examined.


Many sexual minority girls, whether categorized according to sexual identity or partner gender, are vulnerable to sexual and reproductive health risks. Attention to these risks is needed to help sexual minority girls receive necessary services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center