Love and Dating Patterns for Same- and Both-Gender Attracted Adolescents Across Europe

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Abstract

Sexual orientation is a multidimensional phenomenon, which includes identity, behavior, and attraction. The attraction component, however, is less studied than the other two. In this article, we present the development of a two-item measure to identify adolescents who prefer same- and both-gender partners for love and dating. The questions were administered to nationally representative samples of 15-year-old adolescents in eight European countries and regions participating in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) cross-national study. The distribution of attraction, as operationalized by preference for the gender of love and dating partners, was similar across countries. These questions offer an alternative or supplementary approach to identify same- and both-gender attracted youth, without administering questions related to sexual identity.

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