TOPIC: VIOLENCE and HARASSMENT
- Bontempo DE, D'Augelli AR. Effects of at-school victimization and sexual orientation on lesbian, gay, or bisexual youths' health risk behavior. J Adolesc Health. 2002 May;30(5):364-74. PURPOSE: To examine the link between victimization at school and health risk behaviors using representative data comparing lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youths and heterosexual youths. METHODS: Data from the 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey taken in Massachusetts and Vermont were examined. This sample included 9188 9th through 12th grade students; 315 of these students were identified as LGB. Analyses of variance were used to examine health risk behaviors by sexual orientation by gender by victimization level. RESULTS: The combined effect of LGB status and high levels of at-school victimization was associated with the highest levels of health risk behaviors. LGB youths reporting high levels of at-school victimization reported higher levels of substance use, suicidality, and sexual risk behaviors than heterosexual peers reporting high levels of at-school victimization. Also, LGB youths reporting low levels of at-school victimization reported levels of substance use, suicidality, and sexual-risk behaviors that were similar to heterosexual peers who reported low at-school victimization. CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide evidence that differences in health risks among LGB youth are mediated by victimization at school. Such victimization of LGB youth is associated with health risk behaviors.
- Robin L, Brener ND, Donahue SF, Hack T, Hale K, Goodenow C. Associations between health risk behaviors and opposite-, same-, and both-sex sexual partners in representative samples of vermont and massachusetts high school students. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Apr;156(4):349-55. OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between health risk behaviors and sexual experience with opposite-, same-, or both-sex partners in representative samples of high school students. DESIGN: We used 1995 and 1997 data from the Vermont and Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Logistic regression and multiple regression analyses were used to compare health risk behaviors among students who reported sex with opposite-sex partners only (opposite-sex students), with same-sex partners only (same-sex students), and with both male and female sexual partners (both-sex students). SETTING: Public high schools in Vermont and Massachusetts. PARTICIPANTS: Representative, population-based samples of high school students. The combined samples had 14 623 Vermont students and 8141 Massachusetts students. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Violence, harassment, suicidal behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and unhealthy weight control practices. RESULTS: In both states, both-sex students were significantly more likely to report health risk behaviors than were opposite-sex students. For example, both-sex students had odds 3 to 6 times greater than opposite-sex students of being threatened or injured with a weapon at school, making a suicide attempt requiring medical attention, using cocaine, or vomiting or using laxatives to control their weight. In both states, same-sex students were as likely as opposite-sex students to report most health risk behaviors. CONCLUSION: Relative to opposite- and same-sex students, both-sex students may be at elevated risk of injury, disease, and death by experiencing serious harassment and engaging in violence, suicidal behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and unhealthy weight control practices.
- Garofalo R, Wolf RC, Kessel S, Palfrey SJ, DuRant RH. The association between health risk behaviors and sexual orientation among a school-based sample of adolescents. Pediatrics. 1998 May;101(5):895-902. OBJECTIVE: This study is one of the first to examine the association between sexual orientation and health risk behaviors among a representative, school-based sample of adolescents. DESIGN: This study was conducted on an anonymous, representative sample of 4159 9th- to 12th-grade students in public high schools from Massachusetts' expanded Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1995 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Sexual orientation was determined by the following question: "Which of the following best describes you?" A total of 104 students self-identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (GLB), representing 2.5% of the overall population. Of GLB youth, 66.7% were male and 70% were white (not Hispanic). Health risk and problem behaviors were analyzed comparing GLB youth and their peers. Those variables found to be significantly associated with GLB youth were then analyzed by multiple logistic regression models. RESULTS: GLB youth were more likely than their peers to have been victimized and threatened and to have been engaged in a variety of risk behaviors including suicidal ideation and attempts, multiple substance use, and sexual risk behaviors. Four separate logistic regression models were constructed. Model I, Onset of Behaviors Before Age 13, showed use of cocaine before age 13 years as strongly associated with GLB orientation (odds ratio [OR]: 6.10; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.45-15.20). Early initiation of sexual intercourse (2.15; 10.6-4.38), marijuana use (1.98; 1.04-4.09), and alcohol use (1.82; 1.03-3.23) also was associated with GLB orientation. Model II, Lifetime Frequencies of Behaviors, showed that frequency of crack cocaine use (1.38; 1.06-1.79), inhalant use (1.30; 1.05-1.61), and number of sexual partners (1.27; 1.06-1.43) was associated with GLB orientation. Model III, Frequency of Recent Behaviors, showed smokeless tobacco use in the past 30 days (1.38; 1. 20-1.59) and number of sexual partners in the previous 3 months (1. 47; 1.31-1.65) were associated with GLB orientation. Model IV, Frequency of Behaviors at School, showed having one's property stolen or deliberately damaged (1.23; 1.08-1.40) and using marijuana (1.29; 1.05-1.59) and smokeless tobacco (1.53; 1.30-1.81) were associated with GLB orientation. Overall, GLB respondents engaged disproportionately in multiple risk behaviors, reporting an increased mean number of risk behaviors (mean = 6.81 +/- 4.49) compared with the overall student population (mean = 3.45 +/- 3.15). CONCLUSION: GLB youth who self-identify during high school report disproportionate risk for a variety of health risk and problem behaviors, including suicide, victimization, sexual risk behaviors, and multiple substance use. In addition, these youth are more likely to report engaging in multiple risk behaviors and initiating risk behaviors at an earlier age than are their peers. These findings suggest that educational efforts, prevention programs, and health services must be designed to address the unique needs of GLB youth.
- Faulkner AH, Cranston K. Correlates of same-sex sexual behavior in a random sample of Massachusetts high school students. Am J Public Health. 1998 Feb;88(2):262-6. OBJECTIVES: This study documented risk behaviors among homosexually and bisexually experienced adolescents. METHODS: Data were obtained from a random sample of high school students in Massachusetts. Violence, substance use, and suicide behaviors were compared between students with same-sex experience and those reporting only heterosexual contact. Differences in prevalence and standard errors of the differences were calculated. RESULTS: Students reporting same-sex contact were more likely to report fighting and victimization, frequent use of alcohol, other drug use, and recent suicidal behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Students with same-sex experience may be at elevated risk of injury, disease, and death resulting from violence, substance abuse, and suicidal behaviors.
- DuRant RH, Kahn J, Beckford PH, Woods ER. The association of weapon carrying and fighting on school property and other health risk and problem behaviors among high school students. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997 Apr;151(4):360-6. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between weapon carrying on school property and engaging in health risk and problem behaviors such as fighting and substance use on school property, fear of attending school, and victimization at school. DESIGN: A complex 2-stage probability survey (Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey). SETTING: High schools in Massachusetts. PARTICIPANTS: Three thousand fifty-four high school students. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Number of days a weapon was carried on school property during the 30 days prior to the survey. RESULTS: The prevalence of self-reported weapon carrying on school property was 15% among male students and 5% among female students (P < .001). Weapon carrying on school property was significantly (P < .001) associated with frequency of physical fights on school property (r = 0.26), being a victim of threat or injury with a weapon on school property (r = 0.27), being a victim of stolen or damaged goods on school property (r = 0.14), not attending school owing to fear (r = 0.15), and substance use while at school, including smoking cigarettes (r = 0.20), using chewing tobacco (r = 0.18), smoking marijuana (r = 0.24), and using alcohol (r = 0.29). The association between weapon carrying and alcohol use in school was higher among students who were afraid to come to school (r = 0.49) than among students who were not afraid (r = 0.28). Students who had engaged in same-sex sexual activity (P < .001) or had been offered, given, or sold illicit drugs at school (P < .001) were more likely to carry a weapon at school. Multiple regression analysis showed that male sex and the frequencies of physical fighting, being a victim of a threat or injury, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and being offered or sold an illicit drug while on school property accounted for 21% of the variance in weapon carrying in school. When weapon carrying was dichotomized and analyzed with logistic regression, a model containing age, male sex, lower academic achievement, days not attending school owing to fear, times threatened or injured with a weapon at school, frequency of fighting at school, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and being offered or sold illicit drugs on school property correctly classified 91.83% of the students who did or did not carry weapons. CONCLUSIONS: Weapon carrying at school was more strongly associated more with use of violence and the use of substances at school than with previous victimization and fear of attending school. However, there is a subgroup of students that seems to have been victimized at school, is afraid to come to school, is using alcohol at school, and is carrying weapons at school.
- DuRant RH, Krowchuk DP, Sinal SH. Victimization, use of violence, and drug use at school among male adolescents who engage in same-sex sexual behavior. J Pediatr. 1998 Jul;133(1):113-8. OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between the number of male sexual partners of adolescent males and the frequency of victimization at school, missed school because of fear, used drugs at school, and engagement of fighting and weapon carrying both in and out of school. STUDY DESIGN: Sexually active male adolescents (N = 3886) in 8th through 12th grades were administered the 1995 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey. RESULTS: A total of 8.7% of male adolescents reported one or more male sexual partners. Alcohol, marijuana, and smokeless tobacco use at school, not attending school because of fear, having been threatened or injured with a weapon at school, and weapon carrying at school accounted for 15.8% of the variation in the number of male sexual partners (p < 0.0001). Suicide attempts, school absence because of fear, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and smokeless tobacco use at school, frequency of fighting requiring medical treatment, carrying a weapon,and carrying a weapon at school accounted for 17.2% out of 100% of the variation in the number of male sexual partners (p < or 0.00001). CONCLUSION: The number of male sexual partners reported by sexually active male adolescents correlated with a higher frequency of victimization, use of violence and drug use at school. Frequency of suicide attempts and fighting outside of school were also correlated with the number of same-sex sexual partners.
- See Eighty-three Thousand Youth: Selected Findings of Eight Population-Based Studies. From the Safe-Schools Coalition of Washington, 1999.
- Preeti Pathela, DrPH, MPH, and Julia A. Schillinger, MD, MSc. Sexual behaviors and sexual violence: Adolescents with opposite-, same-, or both-sex partners. J Pediatr. 2010 Nov; 126(6): 879-886. OBJECTIVE: To describe sexual behaviors, sexual violence, and sexual identity among a population-based sample of adolescents according to the sex of their sex partners, considering separately those with partners
of both sexes. METHODS: From the 2005–2007 New York City Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, 3805 male and 3456 female adolescents reported having had sex and the sex of their sexual contacts. Subgroups were constructed: only opposite-sex partners; only same-sex partners; and partners of both sexes (both-sex partners). Weighted prevalence, risk behaviors (eg, using drugs/alcohol with sex), and sexual identity among subgroups were described. RESULTS: Similar numbers of sexually active male (3.2%) and female adolescents (3.2%) reported only same-sex behavior, but fewer male than female adolescents reported both-sex partners (3.7% vs 8.7%; P .001). Male adolescents with both-sex partners reported a higher prevalence of sexual risk behaviors than male adolescents with only opposite-sex or only same-sex partners. Female adolescents with both-sex or only same-sex partners reported a higher prevalence of risk behaviors than female adolescents with only opposite-sex partners. Adolescents with both-sex partners reported a marked prevalence of dating violence and forced sex. Many adolescents with only same- or both-sex partners (38.9%) self-identified as straight. CONCLUSIONS: Of sexually active adolescents, 9.3% reported a same-sex partner, a higher estimate than other published rates. Those who reported both male and female partners reported behaviors that placed them at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Pediatricians and school health providers must inquire about behaviors, not identity, to determine STI risk, and STI education should be appropriate for youth with same-sex partners.
- From the 2003 "Hate Crime Statistics" report: "Within the 7,485 single-bias incidents reported in 2003, 51.4 percent of the hate crime incidents were committed because of the offenders' racial bias. Nearly 18 percent (17.9) were due to religious bias, 16.6% were attributed to sexual orientation bias, and 13.7 percent occurred because of an ethnicity/national origin bias." For detailed results see www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm
- Patricia Tjaden, Nancy Thoennes, Christine Allison. Comparing Violence Over the Lifespan in Samples of Same-Sex and Opposite-Sex Cohabitants. Violence and Victims, Vol. 14, No. 4 (1999): 413-425. Using data from a nationally representative telephone survey that was conducted from November 1995 to May 1996, this study compares lifetime experiences with violent victimization among men and women with a history of same-sex cohabitation and their counterparts with a history of marriage and/or opposite-sex cohabitation only. The study found that respondents who had lived with a same-sex intimate partner were significantly more likely than respondents who had married or lived with an opposite-sex partner only to have been: (a) raped as minors and adults; (b) physically assaulted as children by adult caretakers; and (c) physically assaulted as adults by all types of perpetrators, including intimate partners. The study also confirms previous reports that intimate partner violence is more prevalent among gay male couples than heterosexual couples. However, it contradicts reports that intimate partner violence is more prevalent among lesbian couples than heterosexual couples. Overall study findings suggest that intimate partner violence is perpetrated primarily by men, whether against same-sex or opposite-sex partners.
- See Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. Washingotn, D.C., U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, July 2000. NCJ181867.
- Halpern CT, Young ML, Waller MW, Martin SL, Kupper LL. Prevalence of partner violence in same-sex romantic and sexual relationships in a national sample of adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2004 Aug;35(2):124-31. PURPOSE: To present the first national prevalence estimates of psychological and physical intimate partner violence between adolescents in same-sex relationships. METHODS: Analyses focus on 117 adolescents aged 12-21 years (50% female) from Wave II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health who reported exclusively same-sex romantic or sexual relationships in the 18 months before interview. Items from the Conflict Tactics Scale were used to measure partner violence victimization. Data analysis included computation of prevalence estimates and a logistic regression analysis to assess associations between sociodemographic characteristics and violence victimization. RESULTS: Almost one-quarter of adolescents with same-sex romantic or sexual partners reported some type of partner violence victimization; about 1 in 10 reported physical victimization. Significant sex differences were found (OR = .29, CI = 0.08, 1.00), with males being less likely than females to report "any violence." Of six other sociodemographic characteristics examined, importance of religion (OR = .27, CI = 0.07-1.07) and school size (OR = .32, CI = 0.09-1.11) were associated with victimization at the p < .10 level. Adolescents who reported that religion was important to them and adolescents who attended larger schools were at lower risk of "any violence." CONCLUSIONS: As with opposite-sex relationships, psychological and minor physical violence victimization is common among adolescents involved in same-sex intimate relationships. Males reporting exclusively same-sex relationships were less likely than females to report experiencing the violence behaviors examined.
- Russell ST, Franz BT, Driscoll AK. Same-sex romantic attraction and experiences of violence in adolescence. Am J Public Health. 2001 Jun;91(6):903-6. OBJECTIVES: Recent national attention to hate crimes committed against lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths has highlighted the need to understand this group's experiences of violence. Using nationally representative data, we examine the associations between romantic attraction and experiences of violence, as well as the risk of witnessing violence and perpetrating violence against others. METHODS: Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were examined. Youths reporting same-sex and both-sex romantic attractions were compared with those reporting other-sex attractions. Survey logistic regression was used to control for sample design effects. RESULTS: Youths who report same-sex or both-sex romantic attraction are more likely to experience extreme forms of violence than youths who report other-sex attraction. Youths reporting same-sex and both-sex romantic attractions are also more likely to witness violence. The higher incidence of violence perpetrated by youths attracted to the same sex is explained by their experiences of violence. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide strong evidence that youths reporting same-sex or both-sex romantic attraction are at greater risk for experiencing, witnessing, and perpetrating violence.
- See A Report on the Experiences of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in America and the Public's Views on Issues and Policies Related to Sexual Orientation. Kaiser Family Foundation Report #3193