Ever since 1997, when Florida stopped requiring riders over 16 to wear helmets, we cringe every time we see someone on two wheels without a cranium cap. Don't get us wrong, we're not necessarily worried about the safety of the rider. We just have an understandable aversion to vomiting in public should their brains spill out onto Miami's hot asphalt and make a sizzling sound. We'll let that sink in.
Well, researchers are concerned with more than just the safety of the rider; they're interested in their sexual orientation. A new study recently found that bisexuals are less likely to wear bike helmets than heterosexuals. Although it sounds like some sort of anti-gay Tea Party propaganda, the researchers say the ultimate goal is to improve public health intervention for at-risk youth.
The study in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (which manages to
sound both spooky and boring at the same time) followed self-identified
gay, bisexual, and straight high-schoolers in nine states. They
monitored any drug use, sexual habits, diet, physical activity --
basically any risky behavior that could contribute to injury.
They found that bisexuals took more chances with their health than gay,
lesbian, or straight individuals. As far as this study goes, that means
they took more rides with drunk drivers, didn't use their seat belts,
rarely or never wore bicycle helmets, carried firearms to school,
smoked pot before age 13, considered suicide, and on and on. (Based on that and our arm-chair study of helmet use amongst Deco Bike users, everyone in Miami must be bi.)
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Is this a first step to helping troubled youth? Or will aligning
bisexuals with wild behavior do more damage to the LGBT community than