MMWR Telebriefing on LGB YRBS: CDC Discusses New Report on Youth Sexuality Data Collection

On June 1, 2011, from 12:00-1:00 p.m., please join the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for a telebriefing to discuss a new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, entitled “Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9–12 in Selected Sites—Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, United States, 2001–2009.” The report, scheduled for release on June 6, documents the disproportionate rates at which sexual minority students reported occurrences of many health risk behaviors, including tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; sexual risk behaviors; and violence. This report represents the first time that the federal government has conducted an analysis of this magnitude across a wide array of states, large urban school districts, and risk behaviors.

Researchers analyzed data from Youth Risk Behavior Surveys conducted during 2001–2009 in seven states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin—and six large urban school districts—Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, San Diego, and San Francisco—that collected data on high school students’ sexual identity (heterosexual, gay or lesbian, bisexual, or unsure); sex of sexual contacts (sexual contact with the opposite sex only, with the same sex only, or with both sexes); or both.

CDC/DASH recognizes the urgent need to ensure that our schools and community programs are doing everything possible to address the health-related issues that affect sexual minority students. By addressing the challenges sexual minority students face at school, and by considering the context in which risk behaviors occur, schools can help to improve health outcomes and reduce the prevalence of health-risk behaviors.

If you have any questions, please contact Cherie Gray at or 770-488-6100.

Teleconference Information

Call-in number: 1-877-900-5728

Participant pass code: 5232323

About the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

National, state, and local YRBS’s are conducted every two years among high school students throughout the United States. These surveys monitor health risk behaviors, including unintentional injuries and violence; tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and physical inactivity. These surveys also monitor the prevalence of obesity and asthma. Interested states and large urban school districts may add questions to collect data on sexual identity and the sex of sexual contacts.

YRBS results are available at

Published by Emilia Dunham, MPP, MBA

Emilia Dunham is currently a Project Manager at MassHealth/Department of Public Health, and formerly the Project Manager of the Life Skills project at The Fenway Institute, an HIV intervention study for young transgender women. Emilia worked at Fenway for 7 years, first as a Quality Control and Regulatory Assistant mainly involved with biomedical HIV prevention trials, before serving as the Program Associate for The Network for LGBT Health Equity, a network instrumental in many national LGBT health policy improvements. She is also involved with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, serving as a Steering Committee member and the Policy Committee Co-Chair, an organization largely responsible for the recent passage of the Trans Rights Bill. Additionally she serves as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, Co-Chair of the Recommendations Committee. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. There she served as President of the LGBTQ student group where she planned programs such as Pride Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and AIDS Week. In addition, she advocated for LGBTQ inclusive policies and programming on campus such as a Gender Neutral Housing program, an LGBTQ Center and the expansion of Women’s Studies to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Emilia recently earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration in health policy and management from the Brandeis Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.

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