August 18, 2016
To arrange an interview with Ascend, contact Christine Eckley
at 202-248-5420 or ceckley@WeAscend.org.
For Immediate Release:
New CDC report confirms: LGBQ Youth Need Sexual Risk (SRA) Avoidance Education More than Ever
The August 2016 release of a report by the CDC shows that sexual minority youth, who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ), have a higher prevalence of a variety of health risk behaviors. These youth are at higher risk in nearly all of the sexual risk behaviors measured by the CDC, as compared to heterosexual teens:
About 25% more likely to have sex.
More than twice as likely to have had sex before 13.
Three times more likely to be forced to have sex.
More than twice as likely to be a victim of dating violence.
More than twice as likely to have used ecstasy.
More likely to have had sex with 4 or more partners.
Two times less likely to use any contraceptive method when having sex.
Less likely to use a condom when having sexual contact.
In addition, LGBQ youth indicate higher rates of drug and alcohol use along with being twice as likely to feel sad or hopeless among other non-sexual health risks. And of even greater concern is the fact that if teens have sex, they are much more likely to engage in these behaviors, especially if they engage in same sex or bisexual sex. This increased vulnerability to risk among LGBQ youth underscores the need for a strong, unequivocal SRA message. While all youth benefit from the skills and information that promote sexual delay, LGBQ youth stand to gain even more from programs that promote normalizing sexual delay vs. normalizing teen sex.
Ascend believes that encouraging teens to wait for sex is important and every teen, without regard to orientation, deserves to receive factual information that can help them navigate a culture that that is quick to ignore the risks of teen sex. Inclusivity must mean that all youth are included in receiving messages that give them the best opportunities for achieving equal outcomes for optimal health. Read the CDC report here.
Ascend (formerly the National Abstinence Education Association) champions youth to make healthy decisions in relationships and life by promoting well being through a primary prevention strategy, and as a national membership and advocacy organization that serves, leads, represents and equips the Sexual Risk Avoidance field.