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NBC-<i>People</I> sex survey leaves out gay and lesbian teens (14985)


NBC-People sex survey leaves out gay and lesbian teens

A recent poll of teens that asked about their attitudes and experiences around sex failed to include gays and lesbians, reports the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. Expressing dismay over the lack of inclusion of questions about sexual orientation and same-sex partners, GLMA chastised NBC and People magazine, the two media outlets that commissioned the poll. "While the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association applauds the efforts of NBC News and People magazine in commissioning a landmark poll of teenagers and their sexual attitudes, perceptions, and practices, we are disappointed and concerned by the poll's decided lack of inclusion of questions pertaining to sexual identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning youth," said Joel Ginsberg, executive director of GLMA. "We ask to meet with the editorial boards of NBC News and People magazine to educate them about the unique health issues faced by LGBQ youth."

The poll, "A National Survey of Young Teens' Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors," was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. It surveyed 1,000 parents and 1,000 teens, ages 13 to 16, between September 4, 2004, and November 7, 2004, and is featured in the January 27 issue of People magazine and on the NBC special "The 411: Teens & Sex" with Katie Couric, which aired January 26.

Rob Garofalo, a GLMA board member and author of ground-breaking research on risk behaviors in gay and lesbian youth, said, "LGBQ youth are woefully underrepresented in federal, state, and other research on teen sex and sexuality, and the recently completed NBC News-People magazine study represented a significant high-profile missed opportunity for increased diversity with regards to the inclusion of sexual minority youth. Gaining a better understanding of the sexual attitudes and practices of LGBQ youth, a youth population perceived to be at increased risk of STDs and HIV, would be tremendously helpful in better understanding this community so that targeted and appropriate prevention efforts can best be designed and implemented. GLMA hopes that future efforts exploring adolescent sexuality, both publicly and privately funded, will contain questions and language inclusive of LGBQ youth."

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