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Disparities in adverse childhood experiences among sexual minority and heterosexual adults: Results from a multi-state probability-based sample

Andersen, J.P. and Blosnich, J. – 2013

A study of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Provides background on what ACEs are, as well as data on their occurrence in the general population. Explains the link between ACEs and poor health outcomes in adulthood. Summarizes research on the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences among sexual minorities. Provides background on the current study, which uses data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Results show that, compared to heterosexuals, lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals have significantly greater proportions of ACEs across most categories. Sexual minorities are more likely to have experienced physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as compared to heterosexuals. They are also more likely to report childhood experiences of household dysfunction, including substance abuse. Suggests that in households where dysfunction is already present, a child with gender nonconforming behavior is more likely to be a victim of violence and abuse.