The Prevalence of Bisexual and Homosexual Orientation and Related Health Risks Among Adolescents in Northern Thailand
- Cite this article as:
- van Griensven, F., Kilmarx, P.H., Jeeyapant, S. et al. Arch Sex Behav (2004) 33: 137. doi:10.1023/B:ASEB.0000014328.49070.8c
Homo- or bisexual (HB) adolescents may have greater and different health risks than the population of heterosexual adolescents. We assessed sexual orientation and health risk behaviors in 1,725 consenting 15- to 21-year-old vocational school students in northern Thailand. Data were collected using audio-computer-assisted self-interviewing. Nine percent of males and 11.2% of females identified themselves as homo- or bisexual. HB males had an earlier mean age at sexual debut (14.7 years) and a higher mean number of lifetime sexual partners (7.9) than did heterosexual males (16.8 years and 5.8 partners, respectively). HB males (25.9%) and females (32.2%) were sexually coerced more often than were heterosexual males (4.6%) and females (19.6%). Drug use was reported significantly more frequently by HB females and significantly less frequently by HB males than by their heterosexual counterparts. HB males showed more signs of social isolation and depression than did heterosexual males. We conclude that HB adolescents in northern Thailand are at greater and different health risks than are their heterosexual counterparts. Differential health education messages for HB and heterosexual youth are warranted.