Year: 2001 Source: Journal of Adolescence, v.24, no.1, (February 2001), p.5-13 SIEC No: 20010858

It is argued in this essay that developmental scientists should seriously reconsider traditional empirical & theoretical paradigms that narrowly define sexual-minority adolescents in terms of those who adopt a culturally defined sexual identity label. A broader consideration of youth populations who have same-sex desires but who might not necessarily identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, leads to a very different understanding of sexual-minority youths than is apparent in most published studies. This expanded definition allows researchers to conclude that same-sex attraction in itself does not lead to pathology or to problematic behaviours such as drug abuse, suicide, prostitution or HIV-infection. (36 refs.)