Furthering the Adaptation and Implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive Sexuality Education
With support from the M·A·C AIDS Fund, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) convened a one-day consultation to consider strategies to advance the adaptation and implementation of schoolbased, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ)-inclusive sexuality education.
While this report reflects those conversations, the views expressed are solely those of Trust for America’s Health.
All youth should benefit from comprehensive sex education that includes information about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (see box, Understanding sex education in context). But especially for LGBTQ youth, the need for sex education that provides the knowledge and skills to reduce the risks of HIV, sexually-transmitted infections (STI), and other adverse health outcomes, is pronounced. Many factors place LGBTQ youth at disproportionate risk for poor health outcomes, including both individual behaviors and a range of school climate factors. Compared to their heterosexual peers, LGBTQ youth are more likely to begin sex at an early age and to have multiple partners, are more likely to have sex while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and are less likely to report using condoms or birth control during their last sex. As a result, LGBTQ youth experience a variety of adverse health consequences, including sexual health outcomes. For example, a number of studies have shown that LGB youth are more likely to report having been or gotten someone pregnant.
Many factors place LGBTQ youth at disproportionate risk for poor sexual health outcomes, including HIV. As such, the need for LGBTQ-inclusive sex education is pronounced. While the provision of adequate sex education is weak in general, most sex education in the United States either excludes LGBTQ people and experiences, or presents them in ways that demonize or marginalize them. In schools with inclusive sex education, LGB students reported fewer sexual partners, less recent sex, and less substance use before having sex.