- Corliss HL, Goodenow CS, Nichols L, Austin SB. High burden of homelessness among sexual-minority
adolescents: findings from a representative Massachusetts high school sample. Am J Public Health. 2011:101(9):1683---1689. OBJECTIVE: We compared the prevalence of current homelessness among adolescents reporting a minority sexual orientation (lesbian/gay, bisexual, unsure, or heterosexual with same-sex sexual partners) with that among exclusively heterosexual adolescents. METHOD: We combined data from the 2005 and 2007 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a representative sample of public school students in
grades 9 though 12 (n=6317). RESULTS: Approximately 25% of lesbian/gay, 15% of bisexual, and 3% of
exclusively heterosexual Massachusetts public high school students were homeless. Sexual-minority males and females had an odds of reporting current homelessness that was between 4 and 13 times that of their exclusively heterosexual peers. Sexual-minority youths’ greater likelihood of being homeless
was driven by their increased risk of living separately from their parents or guardians. CONCLUSION: Youth homelessness is linked with numerous threats such as violence, substance use, and mental health problems. Although discrimination and victimization related to minority sexual orientation status are believed to be
important causal factors, research is needed to improve our understanding of the risks and protective factors for homelessness and to determine effective strategies to prevent homelessness in this population.
- Rice, E., Fulginiti, A., Winetrobe, H., Montoya, J., Plant, A., Kordic, T., Corliss, H.L., Goodenow, C.S. & Austin, S. (2012). Sexuality and homelessness in Los Angeles public schools. American Journal Of Public Health, 102(2), 200-202. The authors collected data on sexuality and homelessness experiences in conjunction with the 2011 administration of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) in the Los Angeles
Unified School District (LAUSD). Among LAUSD students, 37% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or unsure-identifying youths and 22% of heterosexual youths reported having spent at least one night homeless in the previous 12 months. Researchers created a supplemental questionnaire
administered in conjunction with the 2011 YRBS to LAUSD students. One item assessed
sexual orientation: What do you consider your sexual orientation? 1) Homosexual (gay or lesbian), 2) bisexual, 3) heterosexual (straight), 4) transgender, 5) questioning/unsure. A second item addressed homelessness, using the questions from the landmark study by Ringwalt et al. that assessed the national
prevalence of youth homelessness. Their results indicated that non-heterosexually identifying
youths reported significantly more homelessness when compared to heterosexually identifying youths.