New Study Finds Bisexuals Less Likely to Wear Bicycle Helmets

Categories: LGBT, Lifestyle
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.)

Is this a first step to helping troubled youth? Or will aligning bisexuals with wild behavior do more damage to the LGBT community than Prop 8?

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Opus the Poet
Opus the Poet

Wearing a bicycle helmet is nearly useless in preventing death in a wreck with a motor vehicle, because of the difference in mass and kinetic energy of the two classes of vehicle. The operative word though is "nearly" as there is a small set of collisions that the impact to the head is small enough to be dissipated by a bicycle helmet but still hard enough to kill without any additional blunt force trauma to fragile parts outside the skull. It is this tiny set of wrecks that I wear a bicycle helmet for.


I'm a Gay man who purchased a bicycle four years ago, when I was 47 years old. With the price of gasoline on its way up, I figured I could save some money by bicycling to work whenever the weather was nice. It's also good for the environment, and as someone who has battled a weight problem all my life, it's been especially good for my health.

I would never DREAM of bicycling without my helmet. Yes, I have my vices, but putting myself at needless risk for a catastrophic brain injury is not one of them. I have absolutely no respect for bicyclists of any age who do not wear helmets.

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