Exploring gender and sexual minority status among street-involved youth


This article compares heterosexual and sexual minority street-involved youth across a number of sociodemographic, risk and current mental health, victimization and delinquency measures with a particular focus on gender differences. The sample consists of 147 homeless and street-involved young men and women aged 16-21 years in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Bivariate analyses indicate that many of the differences between the heterosexual and sexual minority youth are driven by differences among the young women. Multivariate analyses are then used to test for interactions between gender and sexual minority status alongside controls. The results suggest that gender, sexuality and street involvement intersect to shape outcomes in more complex ways than are acknowledged by the notion of accumulating or multiplying disadvantage common in the literature. The article concludes with a discussion focused on providing a more nuanced view of the experience of youth homelessness at the intersection of gender and sexuality.