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Research Letter
June 14, 2021

Prevalence of Nonheterosexual Identity and Same-Sex Sexual Contact Among High School Students in the US From 2015 to 2019

Author Affiliations
  • 1New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York
  • 2Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, Lake Success
  • 3Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, New York
JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(9):970-972. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.1109

Since 2015, the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) has included questions assessing sexual identity and the sex of respondents’ sexual contacts,1 providing the opportunity to assess longitudinal trends that can be generalized to high school students in the US. Prior to 2015, only some regional versions of the YRBS assessed these measures; analysis of these data demonstrated increases in the prevalence of nonheterosexual identity (for boys and girls) and same-sex sexual contact (for girls) between 2005 and 2015.2 Using the newly introduced questions in the national YRBS, the present study aimed to assess, in a nationally representative cohort of high school students, whether the prevalence of nonheterosexual identity or same-sex sexual contact had changed for boys and/or girls between 2015 and 2019.

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