Demographic and Health Characteristics of Young Adult Sexual Minorities in the United States

Kelly L. Strutz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Amy H. Herring, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Carolyn Tucker Halpern, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Despite health disparities, the demography of sexual minorities is understudied. We used data from Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to describe demographic and health characteristics of young adult (ages 24 to 32) sexual minorities (same-sex attraction, behavior, or identity). Approximately 9% of males and 25% of females were defined as a sexual minority. Sexual minority women were younger, less educated, less religious, and reported more other-sex partners. Sexual minority men, however, had fewer other-sex partners. Minority men and women were more likely to live in urban areas and to report financial hardships. Sexual minorities of both sexes were more likely to report depression, anxiety disorder, being uninsured, and having foregone health care in the past year. As in adolescence, young adult sexual minorities experience disproportionate health burdens. Findings will be discussed in terms of underlying mechanisms.

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Presented in Poster Session 2