Gay/questioning teens' pregnancy rates way higher than straight teens


#1

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#2

Two sets here:

  • 9th-11th graders who have thought about sex much
  • 9th-11th graders who have not thought about sex much

All the people in the second group probably identify as straight, because in our culture, it’s the default value. All the people who have had sex can identify wherever.

I’m just saying 9th grade is pretty early for kids in conservative communities to identify as non-normative.

Edit: as noted by @vert below, the issue isn’t when identity forms but when person is willing to report.


#3

Okay, these are percentages rather than straight (ha!) counts, but the graph does seem to suggest that male teens are getting more female teens pregnant than the teen females are claiming to get pregnant.

Not to say that the premise isn’t intriguing, but it seems to be supported by evidence that is unreliable in at least one vital respect.


#4

One of the things missing from this survey reading is that young bisexual people, particularly bisexual women are at a greater risk of violence (including sexual violence) than straight and gay people. Therefore, the rate of pregnancy really isn’t that surprising (links below).

Additionally, the erasure of bisexuality in the headline of this post, and the headline of the survey response post is really upsetting. Bisexuality exists and is distinct and separate to homosexuality.

From Supporting and Caring for our Bisexual Youth:

Fifty-six percent of bisexual youth “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed that they have experi-mented with alcohol and drugs, a rate slightly higher than lesbian and gay youth (50 percent) and more than twice as high as straight youth (22 percent)
…
While the rates of harassment that bisexual youth reported both in school and outside of school were comparable to those reported by lesbian and gay youth, the open-ended responses revealed that bisexual teen girls reported being subjected to sexual harassment related to their bisexual identities.

From Issues Facing Bisexual Americans

Bisexual people experience higher rates of sexual and intimate partner violence than gay, lesbian, and straight people. Bisexual women experience significantly higher rates of violence both overall and by significant others, compared to lesbian and straight women: 46% of bisexual women have experienced rape, compared to 13% and 17% of lesbian and straight women, respectively. Sixty-one percent of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 43% and 35% of lesbian and straight women respectively (see Figure 4 on the next page). More than half of bisexual women who experienced violence by an intimate partner reported that they had missed a day of work or school, feared for their safety, or experience another negative impact. Bisexual men also report higher rates of sexual violence; nearly half of bisexual men (47%) report experiencing sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime.

So while bisexual and queer/questioning teens may report higher rates of sexual activity, I’d question how consensual it all is, and ask what we’re doing to make the world safer for bisexual people.


#5

The percentages mean that the contribution of the lower graphs to the uppermost one can be as well a drop in a bucket.

Also, nowhere is said that the partner had to be a teenager. A teen male impregnating a (say) 30 years old female will show a contribution in the male part of the graphs but the female part is not shown as the graph is limited to teenagers.


#6

But even in the straight bracket there are more boys than girls; by eye about 50% more. Is that a small enough difference to be explained by more teen studs having sex with older-than-teen women* than teen girls being exploited by no-longer-teen men? Which, by the way, seems somewhat unlikely, though I have no statistics to back that gut feeling up. It seems to me that, anecdotally, twenties men dating** teen women is a far more common situation than twenties women dating teen boys and cougars seducing teen boys put together.

Either way, though, the obvious error in the straight bracket easily overwhelms the signal in the other brackets, and needs to be corrected in the survey methodology before one can feel safe drawing any conclusions from it.

*Older-than-teen women, incidentally, who would have to be as ignorant about contraception as high school girls, if not more so, to have much of an effect.

**A euphemism, obviously, for “fucking”.


#7

We can only speculate if we don’t have the actual numbers.


#8

Quite. Without robust methodology, though, even the initial report is speculation with an impressive-looking graph (which doesn’t make sense).


#9

Isn’t it the case of most “social science” stuff?


#10

Is it? It might be late. It’s not like you need to have sex to feel attraction.


#11

On skew: Shouldn’t it be possible for, say, a male to be involved in 10 pregnancy scares, while females change their behavior after one or two? Given the, ahem, unequal distribution of consequences, this makes some sense.


#12

Denial is a powerful drug.


#13

People lie on surveys.

What this shows is that if you are willing to report that you are gay/bi, you are more likely to be willing to report that you have been pregnant or gotten someone pregnant.

That the proportion of females willing to report having been pregnant is less than the proportion of males willing to report having gotten someone pregnant should be no surprise, considering social attitudes toward teen pregnancy.


#14

Wouldn’t this example result in one male reporting positively and five (give or take) females, producing the opposite result from the survey? Or did something go over my head?


#15

If the male is involved in 10 pregnancy scares, shouldn’t there be 10 corresponding females in the same situation? And if the female only is involved in 2, wouldn’t there only be two males involved? Extending the number of males and females should still leave the two numbers identical, unless people from outside the study are involved I would think…


#16

Sure, but erode the legacy of hate and provide more public support from family and institutions and it wouldn’t surprise me that kids were much likelier to come out “early”.


#17

Oh, right. In other news, dudes may not be aware there was a pregnancy. And rather a lot of cultural baggage over admitting to this in a survey form, probably given at school.


#18

No, not really.


#19

You could have one pregnancy scare and multiple guys thinking that they caused it, or guys suspecting that there was a pregnancy scare when there wasn’t, or girls not wanting to admit a pregnancy scare etc.


#20

Because so many teen girls are hos? “Could” covers a lot of territory which in a serious study should be uncovered. (Or, formally-speaking, “covered”. English is such a tricky language.)