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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
4040.0: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 8:50 AM

Abstract #105139

Unprotected sex among both male and female GLB youths: A prospective longitudinal study

Margaret Rosario, PhD, Psychology, City University of New York, NAC Building 7-120, Convent Avenue and 138th Street, New York, NY 10031, 212-650-5420, mr37@earthlink.net, Eric W. Schrimshaw, MA, Psychology, Social/Personality, City University of New York, Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016, and Joyce Hunter, DSW, Unit 29, HIV Center for Clinical & Behavioral Studies/NYSPI/Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032.

Because gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) youths are at great risk for HIV and other STIs by means of their sexual behaviors, understanding the factors that place them at risk for unprotected sexual behaviors is critical for prevention efforts. Sexual risk behaviors were examined longitudinally among an ethnically diverse sample of 156 GLB youths (49% female; mean age = 18.3 years) over the course of one year. Many youths reported unprotected sexual behavior in the past six months. For example, 31% of male youths reported unprotected anal sex (26% insertive, 19% receptive) and 80% of female youths reported unprotected oral sex. Gender differences were found: sex risk among males was reflective of poor mental health and risk among females was reflective of improved mental health. Among male youths, decreases in self-esteem (OR = .26, p < .10) and increases in gay-related stress over time (OR = 2.17, p < .10) were associated with unprotected receptive anal sex; and increases in depression over time (OR = 5.9, p < .05) were associated with unprotected insertive oral sex. In contrast, among female youths, increased positive attitudes toward homosexuality (OR = 1.12, p < .05), increased self-esteem (OR = 7.49, p < .10), and decreased depression (OR = .23, p < .06) was associated with a greater likelihood of having unprotected oral sex. These and additional findings will be discussed regarding their implications for gender differences in targeting preventive interventions and basic research regarding the sexual risk behaviors of GLB youths.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

LGBT Youth Research

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA