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Lesbian teens more likely to get pregnant 
17th-Dec-2008 02:17 pm
So sayeth: http://www.pinke.biz/news/518/Lesbian-Teens-More-Likely-to-get-Pregnant-than-Straight-Teens/

The obvious problem here that I see is that they do not appear to have controlled for sexually active teens or not. The study itself may have, but this article does not mention it. I would not be surprised to find out (although I have no evidence one way or the other) that many GBLT folks start having sex earlier than their straight brethren.

Now, however, I feel that I may be stating assumptions not in evidence and falling for the classic "teh gheyz are horny" stereotype.
17th-Dec-2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
There's a much better article about it here.
"One of the challenges is that although teen pregnancy rates are declining, although some of the risky sexual behaviours are declining for all orientation groups, gay, lesbian and bisexual teens still started at much higher rates than their heterosexual teens," said Saewyc.

...Saewyc said it is a common misconception that gay boys don't have sex with girls.

"We assume that sexual attraction, sexual behaviour and sexual identity are going to be 100 per cent consistent for people. And that's not the case. Especially not for teenagers," she said from Vancouver.

"So they may know who they're attracted to. They may identify. But they're not necessarily only going to be having sex with their same gender."

Gay and lesbian teens may have sex with members of the opposite sex for a variety of reasons. Some do it to hide, to deflect the abuse that they see inflicted on gay, lesbian and bisexual teens. They call it "camouflage."

"For some, it may be that they've been told that this is abnormal and wrong and they may think: 'Well, if I just have sex with enough opposite-gender people that will cure me,"' Saewyc said.

"And for some, it is camouflage. It's passing. For some, it's curiosity - 'Well, how do I know I'm really gay until I've tried and decided no, I really don't like that?"'
17th-Dec-2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
That is a much better article. I still don't see anywhere saying whether they are controlling for people who are sexually active or not. I (just about) guarantee you that 100% of virgins have never been involved in a pregancy, regardless of sexual orientation.
17th-Dec-2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
I think it's also important to control for dislocations and emotional instability. At risk, socially marginalized youth are more likely to engage in risky behavior for a variety of reasons not necessarily related to libido at all.
17th-Dec-2008 09:05 pm (UTC) - Yes, as a matter of fact...
They *did* control for sexual activity. But you'd be rather surprised about age of first sexuality - it's barely affected by orientation _if_you_control_for_sexual_abuse_and_violence_.

But then, queer kids (and adults) report huge rates of both.
17th-Dec-2008 09:34 pm (UTC) - Re: Yes, as a matter of fact...
I suspected that the original authors might have, but none of the coverage mentions it. For that matter, I have no real knowledge about "age of first sexuality".

That's interesting about the non-correlation between orientation and age of first sexuality. Not really surprising when you think about it.
17th-Dec-2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
It could also be that gay teens who engage in sex are more likely to be out - or vice versa.

Do they control for sexual abuse and rape? I'm under the impression that gay teens are more likely to be the victims of either.
17th-Dec-2008 10:00 pm (UTC) - Yah, sorta..
There is a lot of difficulty 'controlling' for sexual abuse and rape. These surveys are conducted in high schools, and getting particularly detailed in the questions becomes counter-productive. (If you list off every specific drug - including drugs that don't actually exist - you'll get a whole bunch of people who mark all of them.)

In this particular study they examined kids who identified as queer in total, as well as separated out by sexual abuse, violence experience, harassment experience, and a variety of other fine granularity variables. Some generalities can be made - yes, queer kids appear to report victimization out of proportion - but you can't make a lot of specific statements - no, you can't say sexual abuse *causes* pregnancy, just that adolescent pregnancy is *correlated* with sexual abuse (and other things.) The real big message is - stigma is bad for *all* teens, and we must do more to alleviate or eliminate its effects.
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