A recent study published in theAmerican Public Health Journal found that New York City youth who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual were more likely than heterosexual-identifying youth to experience a pregnancy. This research comes at a time when many cities are facing sexually transmitted infection (STI) outbreaks. Taken together, these data show widespread need not only for comprehensive sexual health education, but LGBTQ-inclusive sex ed in particular.
The lack of LGBTQ-inclusive, comprehensive, and medically accurate sexual and reproductive health education is a public health concern that many lawmakers, educators, and doctors are letting slip through the cracks.
As Reuters Health reported, the study’s researchers reviewed information from roughly 10,000 ethnically and racially diverse high school students in New York who had sex with a member of the opposite sex. Among other things, they found that “about 13 percent of heterosexual females and about 14 percent of females who only had male sexual partners had been pregnant, compared to about 23 percent of lesbian or bisexual females and about 20 percent of girls who had male and female sexual partners.” Additionally: “About 10 percent of heterosexual males and those who only had female sexual partners experienced a pregnancy, compared to about 29 percent of gay or bisexual males and about 38 percent of males with female and male sexual partners.”