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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Survey notes trends in sex among female adolescents
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jamie Anne Royce
2012-02-08

This article shared 2355 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
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New analysis of the U.S. National Survey of Family Growth ( NSFG ) and the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study ( NLLFS ) by Williams Institute researchers indicates new trends in same-sex sexual contact among female adolescents in comparison to daughters of lesbians.

The Williams Institute is a national think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles, committed to advancing sexual orientation law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship. It's researchers collected NLLFS data in 2006-2009.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers have conducted the NSFG seven times since 1973, gathering information on family life, marriage and divorce, pregnancy, infertility, use of contraception, and men's and women's health.

In 2002, the sixth cycle of the NSFG, 63 percent of general population 17-year-old females reported heterosexual sexual activity, while 46 percent of the same demographic reported heterosexual sexual activity in 2006-2008, during the seventh cycle.

Eleven percent of the same respondents in the seventh cycle reported same-sex sexual activity, over twice the 5 percent reported during the sixth cycle.

This demographic was also more than three times as likely to have used emergency contraception—17 percent of seventh-cycle respondents reported using it versus 5 percent of sixth-cycle respondents. Seventh-cycle respondents were also less likely to have been pregnant, with 12 percent reporting a pregnancy versus 18 percent of sixth-cycle respondents.

When comparing NSFG seventh cycle data on 17-year-old females with NLLFS data on 17-year-old daughters of lesbians, there are no statistically significant differences in terms of same-sex sexual behavior or emergency contraceptive use.

"It appears the girls in our study [ NLLFS ] are conforming to the cultural behavior of the time data was gathered," said Dr. Nanette Gartrell, Williams Institute visiting distinguished scholar and principal investigator of the NLLFS.

Daughters of lesbians were older at first heterosexual activity, on average waiting until 16.3 years of age, versus 15.5 years of age for NSFG respondents. Forty-eight percent of NLLFS respondents used contraceptives, while 76 percent of NSFG respondents used contraceptives.

Sons of lesbian mothers were no more likely to have engaged in same-sex sexual activity by age 17, but they were significantly less likely to have been heterosexually active by that age, with only 38 percent of NLLFS respondents engaging in heterosexual sexual activity versus 61 percent of NSFG respondents.


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