Despite growing attention to gay and lesbian concerns, today’s current sex education curriculum in schools and families is still centered upon heterosexuality. Those studies that examine family sex communication and school-based sex education commonly reflect and take place within a heterosexual context as well, which largely ignores the perspective of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. This study situates non-heterosexual individuals at the center of the sex education discussion. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 10 self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) young adults between the ages of 19–25, this study explores what these individuals learn when it comes to sex education in school and in the home. The findings show that LGB young adults experience sex education, whether at home, school, or through their own searching, that is heterosexually centered, revolves around sex as being dangerous, and is often lacking the most basic health and behavior information. Findings from my study indicate the importance of providing sexual information that covers a wide range of sexual orientations and behaviors as it benefits all teens, especially those who are not heterosexual. Implications for parents and schools regarding sex education are discussed in addition to limitations and directions for future research.
Heteronormativity LGB youth Sex education Family sex communication Inequality Qualitative research
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Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of Interest
I do not have any potential conflicts of interest in regards to this research, authorship, etc.
I did not receive any financial funding/support for this research.
I did conduct research with human participants, but I received proper IRB approval from my institution before collecting my data. I also reminded participants of their rights and received verbal consent before proceeding with the interview.
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