January 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Teen prank may have skewed ‘90s research
teen, research, gay news, Washington Blade, fake

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NEW YORK — Teens who thought it would be funny to fake being gay may have skewed the results of a landmark 1990s health survey according to a new research paper, Huffington Post reports.

The article, published online Dec. 24 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, says that the five to seven percent of teens who identified as homosexual or bisexual in that survey is likely a huge overestimate — caused by teens who responded in jest or who misunderstood the questions, the article said.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health survey, colloquially known as Add Health, asked 14,000 teenagers detailed questions about their health, well-being and other behaviors in four waves from 1994 to 2008, the Huffington Post article said.

But when the results for the first wave came out in the 1990s, researchers were shocked. Whereas just 1 percent of teens had identified as gay or bisexual previously, Add Health found dramatically higher results. Even stranger, about 70 percent of the teens initially identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual said they were straight in later versions of the survey.

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