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Am J Public Health. 2015 Jul;105(7):1379-86. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302553. Epub 2015 May 14.

Sexual Orientation and Risk of Pregnancy Among New York City High-School Students.

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Lisa L. Lindley is with the Department of Global and Community Health, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Katrina M. Walsemann is with the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia.



We examined associations between sexual orientation and pregnancy risk among sexually experienced New York City high-school students.


We analyzed data from 2005, 2007, and 2009 New York City Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. We excluded students who had never engaged in sexual intercourse, only had same-gender sexual partners, or had missing data on variables of interest, resulting in a final sample of 4892 female and 4811 male students. We employed multivariable logistic regression to examine pregnancy risk by sexual orientation, measured as self-reported sexual identity and gender of sexual partners, with adjustment for demographics and sexual behaviors. We stratified analyses by gender.


Overall, 14.3% of female and 10.8% of male students had experienced a pregnancy. Students who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or reported both male and female sexual partners had higher odds of pregnancy than heterosexual students or students who only had opposite-gender sexual partners. Sexual behaviors accounted for higher odds of pregnancy among female, but only partially accounted for higher odds of pregnancy involvement among male, sexual-minority students.


Sexual orientation should be considered in future adolescent pregnancy-prevention efforts, including the design of pregnancy-prevention interventions.

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