Sexual Orientation and Health-Related Outcomes: How Victimization Stressors Explain the Increased Risk Faced by Sexual Minorities
Hale, William Beardall
This project examines whether differential exposure to victimization stressors explains health-related disparities between heterosexual and non-heterosexual high school-aged youth. The analyses indicate that gays and lesbians, bisexuals, and those unsure of their sexuality face an increased risk for suicide ideation and attempts when compared to their heterosexual peers. Additionally, gays and lesbians and bisexuals face an increased risk for other health risk behaviors and poor academic outcomes. As predicted, these relationships are partially explained by exposure to victimization. Minimizing the high rates of victimization is an integral step in improving the lives of sexual minorities and preventing both the loss of lives as well as other adverse health-related outcomes.