Indicators of victimization and sexual orientation among adolescents: Analyses from youth risk behavior surveys

Stephen T. Russell, Bethany G. Everett, Margaret Rosario, Michelle Birkett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Objectives. We used nuanced measures of sexual minority status to examine disparities in victimization and their variations by gender, age, and race/ ethnicity. Methods. We conducted multivariate analyses of pooled data from the 2005 and 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. Results. Although all sexual minorities reported more fighting, skipping school because they felt unsafe, and having property stolen or damaged at school than did heterosexuals, rates were highest among youths who identified as bisexual or who reported both male and female sexual partners. Gender differences among sexual minorities appeared to be concentrated among bisexuals and respondents who reported sexual partners of both genders. Sexual minority youths reported more fighting than heterosexual youths, especially at younger ages, and more nonphysical school victimization that persisted through adolescence. White and Hispanic sexual minority youths reported more indicators of victimization than did heterosexuals; we found few sexual minority differences among African American and Asian American youths. Conclusions. Victimization carries health consequences, and sexual minorities are at increased risk. Surveys should include measures that allow tracking of disparities in victimization by sexual minority status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-261
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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