Mental and Sexual Health Disparities among Bisexual and Unsure Latino/a and Black Sexual Minority Youth

Amanda M. Pollitt, Allen B. Mallory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Sexual minority youth (SMY), particularly bisexual youth and youth unsure of their sexual identity, are at greater risk of poor mental and sexual health outcomes than heterosexual youth. The purpose of this study was to examine disparities in intimate partner violence (IPV) and mental and sexual health for Black and Latino/a bisexual and unsure youth compared with their White bisexual and unsure and Black and Latino/a heterosexual peers. Methods: We used aggregated state and school district 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey data to demonstrate differences in mental health (e.g., depressive symptoms and suicidality), sexual health (e.g., number of sexual partners and contraceptive use), and physical and sexual IPV between Black and Latino/a bisexual and unsure youth, and their White bisexual and unsure and Black and Latino/a heterosexual peers. Results: Bisexual and unsure youth had higher odds of depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation and plans, and physical IPV than their same-race heterosexual peers. Black and Latina bisexual and unsure females were more likely to report sexual health risk behaviors than Black and Latina heterosexual females. There were few differences between bisexual and unsure youth of color and White youth. Conclusion: We add to a growing body of literature showing disparities in IPV and mental and sexual health among bisexual and unsure youth of color. Pronounced risk for poor health outcomes among bisexual and unsure females of color needs to be especially addressed by prevention and intervention efforts. We encourage further research on the health of SMY with multiple marginalized identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-262
Number of pages9
JournalLGBT Health
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • mental health
  • race/ethnicity
  • sex
  • sexual health
  • sexual minority youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Urology

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