According to a new study by Canadian teen sex education experts, gay and lesbian teens are more likely to get pregnant than straight teens to avoid bullying.
According to the 2013 B.C. Adolescent Health Survey, of the 30,000 students between 7 and 12th grade, gay and bisexual boys were four times as likely to cause a pregnancy, and lesbian and bisexual girls were twice as likely to get pregnant.
“They still have increased risk compared to heterosexual teens that we’ve noted since 2008,” Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc of University of B.C.’s School of Nursing said. “Since then there have been other studies in other parts of the world that say the same thing. It would appear that the sexual orientation, in terms of pregnancy involvement, looks like it’s staying about the same.”
Saewyc said there was a link between discrimination and pregnancy. She found that pregnancy is a way to “camouflage” sexual orientation and avoid bullying.
The executive director of Qmunity, a Vancouver-based queer resource center, said sexual health is often talked about for the 20-40 youth that come to the drop-in group GabYouth twice a week.
Dara Parker said helping teens make healthy choices through a sex-positive environment is something the drop-in group focuses on.
Program director of the sex educators YouthCo said the information for gay couples isn’t being taught during sex education classes, and perhaps this is leading to the higher pregnancy numbers.
“Our sex education in B.C. needs a bit of a revamp – it needs to be consistent across the province,” Claire O’Gorman said. “People who are part of queer communities need to have their voices at the table to discuss what the curriculum should look like, so it’s as inclusive and relevant as possible.”