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Study: Most gay
teens don't reveal their sexuality to doctors

Study: Most gay
teens don't reveal their sexuality to doctors

Only about one third of gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens involved in a recent study said they tell their doctors about their sexual orientation. The survey, released by the RAND Corporation on Thursday, revealed that even though 70% of those who took part said they were aware of their sexual orientation as teens, just 35% told their doctors.

"We were surprised by these results," Garth Meckler, assistant professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics with the Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, told United Press International. "We figured they would have a higher disclosure rate than most youth, and yet, despite being out to almost everyone in their lives, only 35% had told their doctor about their sexual orientation."

Mark Schuster, director of health promotion and disease prevention at RAND Health in Santa Monica, Calif., and professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the survey should serve as "a reminder to physicians who take care of teens to try to create a comfortable, safe environment for young people to be open about their orientation as well as other aspects of their sexuality."

The study by RAND--a nonprofit research organization--and UCLA is published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers surveyed 131 participants at the Models of Pride Youth Conference. (The Advocate)

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