Sexual identity, partner gender, and sexual health among adolescent girls in the united states

Rachel G. Riskind, Samantha L. Tornello, Brendan C. Younger, Charlotte J. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


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

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1957-1963
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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