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J Sex Res. 2014;51(7):788-800. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2013.806648. Epub 2013 Sep 5.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youths' perspectives of inclusive school-based sexuality education.

Author information

1
a Regional Research Institute for Human Services, School of Social Work, Portland State University.

Abstract

Sexuality education is perceived as one way to prevent unhealthy sexual behaviors. However, current sexuality education materials are not tailored to fit the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth, and many have been critiqued for disenfranchising these populations. This study solicited the perspectives of LGBTQ youth on their experiences with school-based sexuality education in order to create a framework of LGBTQ-inclusive sexuality education. Five semistructured focus groups (N = 30 LGBTQ participants) were conducted to investigate the sexuality education experiences of LGBTQ youth and to solicit youth suggestions for improving the inclusiveness of sexuality education curricula. Results indicate that LGBTQ youth perceive current sexuality education as primarily "exclusive," although examples of "inclusive" sexuality education were provided. In addition, participants provided suggestions for creating a more inclusive experience, such as directly discussing LGBTQ issues, emphasizing sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention over pregnancy prevention, and addressing healthy relationships. Educators and policymakers can use these ideas to help improve the quality of sexuality education-not only to make it more inclusive for LGBTQ youth but to make sexuality education more inclusive for all young people.

PMID:
24003908
DOI:
10.1080/00224499.2013.806648
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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