Data demonstrate that LGB students may be at substantial risk for these serious outcomes: The majority of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students cope with the transition from childhood through adolescence to adulthood successfully and become healthy and productive adults.
However, this report documents that LGB students have a higher prevalence of many health risk behaviors compared with heterosexual students.
These analyses are possible due to the inclusion of two new questions about sex of sexual contacts and sexual identity on the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).
The findings from this report show the rates at which LGB high school students experience many health risks, compared with heterosexual students.
In the report, sexual minority students were defined as those— Collecting information about students’ sexual identity and about the sex of their sexual contacts is necessary because some students identify themselves as heterosexual but report having sexual contact with only persons of the same sex, whereas some students who identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual have not had sexual contact or have had sexual contact with only persons of the opposite sex.
They are diverse, representing all races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, and parts of the country.
To understand more about behaviors that can contribute to negative health outcomes among LGB students, a question to ascertain sexual identity and a question to ascertain sex of sexual contacts was added for the first time to the national and standard Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) questionnaires.
These new data offer insight into the health risks of approximately 1.3 million LGB high school students and highlight the need for accelerated action to protect their health and well-being.
For lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) students to thrive in their schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported.
CDC works with other federal agencies, national nongovernmental organizations, and state and local departments of education, health, and social services to raise awareness about the health risk behaviors and support the health and well-being of LGB students by — CDC calls for accelerated action to protect the health and well-being of these young people.