Reasons Lesbian and Bisexual Adolescent Girls Have or Might Have Sex with Females or Males: Implications for discordance between sexual identity and behaviors and for prevention of pregnancy and STIs

Research Project: Reasons Lesbian and Bisexual Adolescent Girls Have or Might Have Sex with Females or Males: Implications for discordance between sexual identity and behaviors and for prevention of pregnancy and STIs

Rosario M, Goodenow C, Ybarra M, Saewyc E, Prescott T. Reasons Lesbian and Bisexual Adolescent Girls Have or Might Have Sex with Females or Males: Implications for Discordance between Sexual Identity and Behaviors and for Prevention of Pregnancy and STIs. J Sex Res. 2020 Oct;57(8):966-978. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2020.1753638. Epub 2020 May 19.

Abstract:

We examined reasons lesbian and bisexual adolescent girls have sex or, if sexually inexperienced, might have sex with girls or boys, and the role of internalized homonegativity in these relations and among lesbians. Girls were recruited online and classified as lesbian (n = 129) or bisexual (n = 193); the classification was validated. Love and pleasure were common reasons for having sex with girls, although more lesbian girls (LG) than bisexual girls (BG) endorsed love. BG, relative to LG, had sex with girls because they were curious or wanted to verify their sexual identity. Love and pleasure were motives for having sex with boys for BG. They were common reasons for potentially having sex with either sex among sexually inexperienced girls, but both were more likely for BG than LG for sex with boys. Internalized homonegativity did not mediate the relation between sexual identity and reasons for sex, but LG just with male partners were more homonegative than LG just with female partners. The findings indicate that LG and BG should not be combined into a single group, provide insights into the discordance between sexual identity and behaviors, and have implications for reducing risk for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among sexual minority girls.

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