NLLFS-adolescents-sexuality-2010 - Arch Sex Behav DOI...

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ORIGINAL PAPER Adolescents of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Sexual Orientation, Sexual Behavior, and Sexual Risk Exposure Nanette K. Gartrell Henny M. W. Bos Naomi G. Goldberg Received: 4 June 2010 / Revised: 23 August 2010 / Accepted: 27 September 2010 Ó The Author(s) 2010. This article is published with open access at Abstract This study assessed Kinsey self-ratings and life- time sexual experiences of 17-year-olds whose lesbian mothers enrolled before these offspring were born in the longest-run- ning, prospective study of same-sex parented families, with a 93% retention rate to date. Data for the current report were gathered through online questionnaires completed by 78 ado- lescent offspring (39 girls and 39 boys). The adolescents were askediftheyhadeverbeenabusedand,ifso,tospecifybywhom and the type of abuse (verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual). They were also asked to specify their sexual identity on the Kinseyscale,betweenexclusivelyheterosexualandexclusively homosexual. Lifetime sexual behavior was assessed through questions about heterosexual and same-sex contact, age of first sexual experience, contraception use,and pregnancy.The results revealed that there were no reports of physical or sexual vic- timizationbyaparentorothercaregiver.Regardingsexualorien- tation, 18.9% of the adolescent girls and 2.7% of the adolescent boys self-rated in the bisexual spectrum, and 0% of girls and 5.4% of boys self-rated as predominantly-to-exclusively homo- sexual. When compared with age- and gender-matched adoles- cents of the National Survey of Family Growth, the study off- springweresignificantlyolderatthetimeoftheirfirstheterosex- ual contact, and the daughters of lesbian mothers were signifi- cantly more likely to have had same-sex contact. These findings suggest that adolescents reared in lesbian families are less likely than their peers to be victimized by a parent or other caregiver, andthatdaughtersoflesbianmothersaremorelikelytoengagein same-sex behavior and to identify as bisexual. Keywords Lesbian families Á Adolescents Á Sexual orientation Á Sexual behavior Á Victimization Á Same-sex parents Introduction Research has established that there are no significant differ- ences in psychological well-being between the children of lesbian and heterosexual parents (Bos, van Balen, & Van den Boom, 2007 ; Gartrell, Deck, Rodas, Peyser, & Banks, 2005 ; Golombok, 2007 ; Perrin & American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, 2002 ; Tasker, 2005 ; Vanfraussen, Ponjaert-Kristof- fersen, & Brewaeys, 2002 , 2003 ), but there are very limited dataon the sexualorientation, sexualbehavior, and sexualrisk exposureofadolescentsrearedsincebirthinwhatareknownas planned lesbian families (Bos & Sandfort, 2010 ; Gartrell & Bos, 2010 ; Golombok & Badger, 2010 ; Perrin, 2002 ).
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