Intersectionality and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Comparing Subgroups of Sex, Race/Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation

Zachary Giano, Laura Schwab-Reese, Aura Ankita Mishra, Randolph D. Hubach, Rachel L. Johnson, C. Neill Epperson, Mary D. Sammel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study investigated the intersectionality of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) among subgroups of sex, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Methods: Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey across 34 states (N=116,712) from 2009 to 2018, authors stratified subgroups of sex (male/female), race/ethnicity (White/Hispanic/Black/multiracial/other), and sexual orientation (heterosexual/bisexual/gay) to investigate the number of ACEs across groups. Analyses were conducted in 2022. Results: Stratification resulted in 30 distinct subgroups (e.g., bisexual Black females, straight multiracial males) with significant post hoc differences per group. Generally, those identifying as sexual minority individuals had the highest number of ACEs (the top 14 of 30 subgroups), whereas seven of the top ten subgroups were female. Surprisingly, no clear patterns emerged by race/ethnicity, although the two largest groups (straight White females and straight White males) were 27th and 28th of 30, respectively. Conclusions: Although studies have examined ACEs by individual demographic variables, less is known about the extent to which ACEs are present in stratified subgroups. Sexual minority subgroups (particularly female bisexual subgroups) trend toward a higher number of ACEs, whereas heterosexual subgroups (regardless of sex) comprised the lowest 6 groups with respect to ACEs. Implications include further examination of bisexual and female subgroups (including specific ACE domain investigations) to identify the vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Intersectionality and Adverse Childhood Experiences: Comparing Subgroups of Sex, Race/Ethnicity, and Sexual Orientation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this