On Monday, the CDC released a study on teen risk taking. The study found that gay and bisexual teens are engaging in risk-taking activities at higher rates than their heterosexual peers. The survey tracked a wide variety of risk taking behaviors such as tobacco use, alcohol and drug use, attempted suicide, physical activity levels, weight management, condom use, and behaviors leading to unintentional injuries like seatbelt and helmet use.
According to the survey:
- 20-48% of gay and lesbian students smoke as opposed to 8-19% among heterosexual teens
- 10% or less of heterosexual teens reported attempted suicide. Among gay and lesbian students the number is as high as 34%, and 32% among bisexual students
- Gay and lesbian students were over three times more likely to attempt to lose weight through laxatives or vomiting
But gay, lesbian and bisexual students deal with stigma, disapproval and social rejection. "Many risk behaviors are related to how people feel about themselves and the environment they're in," noted the study's lead author, Laura Kann of the CDC's division of adolescent and school health.
The Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota South Dakota Education department recently released a report on the positive risk-reducing affects of "Parent-Child Connectedness." Parent-Child Connectedness (PCC) is the strong emotional bond between parents and child and the role that it plays
in reducing risk-taking and negative health outcomes.
Public health advocates call PCC a "super protector" noting that it can protect against 33 negative outcomes like unintended pregnancy, HIV & STIs, violence, depression, eating disorders, alcohol, tobacco and drug use and poor academic achievement.
Kristen, a Planned Parenthood Education Staff member explains:
Download our Report on Parent-Child Connectedness and learn more and get tips on how how to increase Parent-Child Connectedness to prevent against negative health outcomes.