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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136710 Find in a Library
Title: Gay and Lesbian Homeless/Street Youth: Special Issues and Concerns
Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health  Volume:12  Issue:7  Dated:special issue (November 1991)  Pages:515-518
Author(s): G Kruks
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 4
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data on homeless and runaway youth are collected by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Service Center in the course of providing street outreach, drop-in assistance and referral, and comprehensive residential life stabilization services.
Abstract: Data on about 2,500 individuals are collected annually, and intake case workers conduct detailed interviews with approximately 800. Intake data provide information on such issues as history of physical/sexual abuse, living situation prior to leaving home, reasons for leaving home, length of time on the streets, history of substance abuse, suicide attempts, and survival sex. The data indicate that about 72 percent of males involved in survival sex identify themselves as gay or bisexual. Nearly all street youth have multiple problems, including substance abuse, that often result from abuse and neglect. Gay street youth typically share many of these same problems, but they usually face additional problems stemming from rejection and low self-esteem experienced because of their sexual orientation. Many gay street youth feel that being a prostitute or street person is all they are good for. Gay male street youth, as well as nonlesbian female street youth, seem to be particularly vulnerable to emotional and sexual exploitation. In one sample, 53 percent of gay street youth had attempted suicide, compared to 32 percent of a cohort of street youth that included both gay and nongay individuals. It is concluded that prejudice, discrimination, and homophobia contribute to a multiplicity of problems faced by gay youth. 8 references and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Discrimination against homosexuals; Homeless children
Index Term(s): California; Homosexuality; Juvenile drug abusers; Juvenile prostitution; Runaways
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