According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, about one in ten sexually active New York City high schoolers have had at least one partner of the same-sex. Not all of those teens self-identify as gay or bisexual, but the study finds that teens who engage in sexual encounters with both men and women have higher rates of dating violence and risky sexual behavior. For instance, just 44% of teens with partners of both sexes admit to using a condom the last time they had sex.

The study is based on data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey that was administered in 2005 and 2007, so the numbers are a bit old. About 4% of the males and 9% of females surveyed said they had both male and female partners. However, over a third of the teens who admitted to having same-sex partners self-identified as "straight." The study unfortunately showed that 35.8% of girls and 34.8% of boys with partners of both sexes had experienced dating violence in the previous year, and that condom use is much higher for teens who have only same-sex or opposite-sex partners.

Thomas Krever, executive director of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, says the risky behavior could be a result of a lack of support for teenagers with alternative lifestyles. "Young people who are exhibiting characteristics of depression and lower self-worth can indeed place themselves in more risky situations including risky sexual practices," he said. Laura Lindberg, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, agrees that the teens are most likely facing challenges, but was surprised that the teens surveyed were from New York. She said, "These are kids in New York City where there's more awareness and perhaps acceptance of non-heterosexual behavior, and you're still finding such high reports of risk behavior and violence."

Poorly-run sex ed classes could be one culprit. Elizabeth Saewyc, a researcher at the University of British Columbia who was not involved in the study, said that many sex ed classes don't acknowledge same-sex relationships. "Some teens I've seen tell me that they completely check out of sex ed because they feel what they were learning didn't apply to them," she said. That could easily lead to things like not knowing you need to use a condom. Of course, if the kids were taught nothing but abstinence, none of this would be happening. Someone get Bristol Palin on the line!