Sexual Orientation Disparities in Sexually Transmitted Infection Risk Behaviors and Risk Determinants Among Sexually Active Adolescent Males: Results From a School-Based Sample

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We examined disparities in risk determinants and risk behaviors for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) between gay-identified, bisexual-identified, and heterosexual-identified young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and heterosexual-identified young men who have sex with women (YMSW) using a school-based sample of US sexually active adolescent males.


We analyzed a pooled data set of Youth Risk Behavior Surveys from 2005 and 2007 that included information on sexual orientation identity, sexual behaviors, and multiple STI risk factors.


Bisexual-identified adolescents were more likely to report multiple STI risk behaviors (number of sex partners, concurrent sex partners, and age of sexual debut) compared with heterosexual YMSW as well as heterosexual YMSM and gay-identified respondents. Gay, bisexual, and heterosexual YMSM were significantly more likely to report forced sex compared with heterosexual YMSW.


Our results provide evidence that sexual health disparities emerge early in the life course and vary by both sexual orientation identity and sexual behaviors. In particular, they show that bisexual-identified adolescent males exhibit a unique risk profile that warrants targeted sexual health interventions.

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