Multidimensional characterization of sexual minority adolescents' sexual safety strategies

J Adolesc. 2013 Oct;36(5):953-61. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.07.008. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


Young adults have high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Sexual minority youths' risk for STIs, including HIV, is as high as or higher than sexual majority peers'. Sexual safety, while often treated as a single behavior such as condom use, can be best conceptualized as the result of multiple factors. We used latent class analysis to identify profiles based on ever-used sexual safety strategies and lifetime number of partners among 425 self-identified LGBTQ youth aged 14-19. Data collection took place anonymously online. We identified four specific subgroup profiles for males and three for females, with each subgroup representing a different level and type of sexual safety. Profiles differed from each other in terms of age and outness for males, and in outness, personal homonegativity, and amount of education received about sexual/romantic relationships for females. Youths' sexual safety profiles have practice implications for sexuality educators, health care professionals, and parents.

Keywords: LGBTQ youth; Latent class analysis; STI/HIV prevention; Sexual minority youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bisexuality
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups*
  • Safe Sex*
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transgender Persons