A comparison of risk factors for sexual victimization among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual homeless young adults

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49 Scopus citations


Although high rates of sexual victimization have been reported among homeless youth, less is known about whether the risk factors vary for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth compared to heterosexual youth. Based on a sample of 172 homeless young adults ages 19 to 26, results revealed that depressive symptoms, prostitution, and having friends who traded sex were significantly associated with higher levels of sexual victimization. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual young adults experienced more sexual victimization compared to heterosexual young adults. A test for interactions revealed that the effect of sexual orientation on sexual victimization was moderated by trading sex and having friends who traded sex. Finally, there is support for partial mediation of the effects of sexual abuse, neglect, and depressive symptoms on sexual victimization through other risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-602
Number of pages17
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008



  • Homeless young adults
  • Maltreatment
  • Sexual minority
  • Sexual victimization
  • Trading sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

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