Is there something else about identifying as queer?

Lesbian youth at high risk for pregnancy: UBC study

The heightened risk is explained by several factors, including an attempt among closeted gay, lesbian and bisexual teens to prove they are heterosexual to avoid harassment and discrimination.

“For some gay, lesbian and bisexual teens it’s camouflage,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, lead author of the study and an associate professor at the University of B.C.’s school of nursing, “because it’s still pretty stigmatized and they still face a lot of harassment at school.”

Results from the surveys, which were conducted anonymously among about 30,000 students in grades 7 through 12, indicated as well that boys are more likely to cause a pregnancy if they identify as gay or bisexual.

In the 1998 survey, 10.6 per cent of girls who identified as bisexual reported pregnancy, and 7.3 per cent of lesbians reported pregnancy. Among the heterosexual girls, 1.8 per cent reported pregnancy.

The data are old, but they’re probably all anyone has…

What strikes me, perhaps mistakenly, is the tiny percentage among heterosexual girls. Now of course this is Canada, where teenage contraception doesn’t get wingnuts running screaming through the streets, but even so I’m betting that a big contribution to that number is that you don’t need to be sexually active to classify yourself as heterosexual. Conversely, anyone who has done enough thinking about the matter to classify themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual is much more likely to have done rather more than just think.

(And then you get the inner-turmoil issues that map nicely to the craziness of abstinence-only types in the US, who also have an anomalously high pregnancy rate. If you’re really freaked out about which parts you want to be using with whom, you’re probably going to be less likely to use contraception consistently and effectively just because that would require too much mental coherence.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: