Bullying, childhood maltreatment linked to higher teen pregnancy rates in young lesbian, bisexual women

Childhood maltreatment and bullying —possibly related to sexual orientation-related discrimination —appear to contribute to a teen pregnancy rate among young lesbian and bisexual women that is nearly double that of their heterosexual peers, according to a new study by Harvard Boston Children’s Hospital researchers and colleagues.

The study was published March 2018 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

“Teen pregnancy prevention efforts that are focused on risk factors more common among young women who are sexual minorities (e.g., childhood maltreatment, bullying) can help to reduce the existing sexual orientation–related teen pregnancy disparity,” wrote the authors.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health authors included Brittany Charlton, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology; Andrea Roberts, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health; Donna Spiegelman, professor epidemiologic methods, and S. Bryn Austin, professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Read a March 14, 2018 NBC News article: Bullying seen as a factor in higher pregnancy rates among lesbian, bisexual teens

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