Gay Teens Have Higher Pregnancy Risk

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Teens

teen girlsContrary to what may seem logical, a new study has found that gay teens are more likely to get pregnant or father a child than their heterosexual peers.

The findings, culled from adolescent health surveys conducted in British Columbia schools in 1992, 1998 and 2003, were the result of 30,000 anonymous interviews of 7th through 12th graders. The researchers can't say definitively why homosexual teens are up to seven times more likely to get pregnant, but they do have some theories.

In the report, published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, researchers deduce that the surprising findings might be due in part to closeted gay, lesbian and bisexual teens doing their level best to prove that they are straight. "For some gay, lesbian and bisexual teens it's camouflage," said Elizabeth Saewyc, lead author of the study, "because it's still pretty stigmatized and they still face a lot of harassment at school."

Researchers further speculate that some of these pregnancies may be the unintended consequences of sexual experimentation by confused teens. But what's most disturbing is the suggestion that some of these girls might be getting pregnant on purpose.

"Some people will reach for an identity that has more respect, more positive value. And in our society, what's more valued than fatherhood or motherhood? We have holidays for them," Saewyc said. "So even though teen parenthood isn't very valued and it's not all that respected, per se, it is a more positive identity in some places than being gay, lesbian or bisexual."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.