The Unjustified Doubt of Add Health Studies on the Health Disparities of Non-Heterosexual Adolescents: Comment on Savin-Williams and Joyner (2014)
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In an invited essay, Savin-Williams and Joyner (2014) questioned the assessment validity of non-heterosexual adolescents in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Specifically, they observed that the number of non-heterosexual adolescents in Wave 1 of Add Health, derived from two yes–no questions about male- and female-oriented romantic attractions, was unexpectedly high, and that most of these both- or same-sex attracted adolescents reported a dramatic decline in their non-heterosexuality in later waves of data collection, particularly in Wave 4, when fewer of them reported a non-heterosexual sexual identity. Savin-Williams and Joyner argued that the inconsistencies resulted from youths’ confusion with the romantic attraction questions and their mischievousness. They concluded, “…Add Health might have contributed little and, perhaps, distorted our understanding of sexual development among Wave 1 nonheterosexual adolescents. The distortion might have been...
KeywordsSexual Orientation Sexual Minority Minority Stress Sexual Minority Youth Romantic Attraction
The authors thank the Boston Children’s Hospital Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Working Group and Amanda M. Pollitt for their help in formulating these ideas and S. Bryn Austin and Stephen T. Russell for their comments on an earlier version of this letter.
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