More teenage girls than boys have had sex with someone of the same gender, according to a new dissertation from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg. The result comes as no surprise to the researcher, midwife Gun Rembeck, who works at the primary care clinic in southern Älvsborg.
“I work at the youth health centre and asked the staff there what they thought before I told them about the results. They answered right away that there are more girls,” she said.
Altogether 440 girls and boys aged 17 were questioned for the study.
“It was 6.1 percent of the girls who answered that they had had sex with someone of the same gender, while 1.7 percent of boys said the same thing,” Rembeck explained. No one is quite sure why the answers are so different between the sexes.
“It may be that girls feel their way forward without identifying themselves as either homo- or heterosexual,” said Rembeck.
She thinks that girls are also more inclined to experiment than boys.
“There is less of a taboo for girls. During their teenage years girls are often a bit more intimate with each other in their own way. Boys are often more worried, afraid to diverge, and the expressed norm is to not be homosexual,” Rembeck said.
The study also found that somewhat more girls than boys had also made their sexual debuts.
“It’s possible that girls who know they are oriented toward homosexuality have become sexually active earlier than boys,” she added.
Sweden is considered to be one of the most gay-friendly countries in Europe and possibly the world when it comes to laws surrounding homosexuality. Due to the strong sense of secularism dominating in most of the country and government, Sweden today is seen as a campaigner of gay rights. Despite this, same-sex marriage is still not legal, although civil unions are looked upon as a form of marriage within Swedish law. Sweden may be the seventh country to legalize SSMs, sometime in 2009.
Here in Philadelphia, LGBTQ youth can find support and activities at the Attic Youth Center.
The Attic creates opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. (website)