Schneider, Margaret S.; Witherspoon, Jennifer Jo
December 2000
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2000, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p239
Academic Journal
Research and commentary on lesbian and gay youth indicates that this population is in particular need of social support, especially from peers, both lesbian and gay as well as heterosexual. Yet, very little is known about the friendship patterns of lesbian and gay youth. This study explores these friendship patterns in the expectation that such research will suggest new ways of assisting lesbian and gay youth in finding social support. Data were collected from 22 lesbian and gay youth and 29 heterosexual youth between the ages of 16 and 21 years. Results indicated that lesbian and gay youth lived further away from their friends and had not known their friends as long as their heterosexual counterparts. Gay males and heterosexual females talked more often on the phone with friends than did lesbians or heterosexual males. Gay males were more likely than anyone else to have friends of the opposite sex and least likely to have friends of the same sexual orientation. Lesbians were the most likely to have sexual contact with people they considered to be friends. The implications of these finding are explored.


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