Objectives: Nationally representative data were used to examine associations of romantic attractions and relationships with substance use and abuse.
Methods: Data from the Add Health Study were examined. Youths reporting same-sex and both-sex romantic attractions and relationships were compared with those reporting opposite-sex attractions. Survey regression and logistic regression were used to control for sample design effects.
Results: In the case of certain outcomes, romantic attraction affected males differently than females. Youths with both-sex attractions were at a somewhat higher risk for substance use and abuse than were heterosexual youths; females with same-sex attractions were also at higher risk for some outcomes. Sexual-minority youths varied little from heterosexual youths in regard to trajectories of substance use and abuse.
Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of distinguishing between youths with only same-sex attractions and those with both-sex attractions. These findings also call into question previous findings indicating that sexual-minority youths are automatically "at risk."