Medical News

Sex While Intoxicated: A Meta-Analysis Comparing Heterosexual and Sexual Minority Youth

March 17, 2011

Noting that the "social marginalization and victimization experienced by sexual minority youth (SMY) may lead to increased risk behaviors and higher rates of negative health outcomes compared with their heterosexual peers," the study authors conducted a meta-analysis to determine whether SMY report higher rates of sex while intoxicated.


The analysis included studies that reported rates of substance use during sex in both heterosexual and SMY youth and had a mean participant age of 18 or under. Effect sizes were calculated using six studies (nine independent data sets and 24 effect sizes) that met study criteria and had higher inter-rater reliability (.98).

The study results showed that compared with heterosexual peers, SMY were nearly twice as likely to report sex while intoxicated. A random-effects meta-analysis indicated a moderate ([overall weighted effect OR] = 1.91, p<.0001) weighted effect size for the relationship between sexual orientation and drug use at the time of sexual intercourse, with the mean effect size per study ranging from 1.21 to 3.50; individual effect sizes ranged from .35 to 9.86.

"Our findings highlight the need for health care providers to screen SMY for participation in substance use during sexual intercourse and to offer risk reduction counseling during office visits," the authors concluded.

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Adapted from:
Journal of Adolescent Health
03.2011; Vol. 48; No. 3: P. 306-309; Amy L. Herrick, M.A.; Michael P. Marshal, Ph.D.; Helen A. Smith, Ph.D.; Gina Sucato, M.D., Ph.D.; Ron D. Stall, Ph.D.

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

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