LGBTQ Youth Need Inclusive Sex Education

BY BTL STAFF

Washington, D.C. - Comprehensive sex education has evolved into so much more than a movie about menstruation and a class or two in human reproduction.

A new online sex ed resource, AMAZE, addresses topics like puberty and healthy relationships, but also explores gender expression in an age-appropriate way, and features a range of body types, racial/ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities.

The fun, animated video series by Advocates for Youth, Answer and Youth Tech Health is geared toward youth ages 10-14, their parents and teachers.

A report from GLSEN underscores a need for this kind of resource. While 84 percent of secondary students ages 13-18 report receiving sex ed in school, nearly half of LGBTQ students who received sex ed reported that such classes were not useful compared to less than a third of non-LGBTQ students. And of course, that's in schools where LGBTQ issues are addressed at all. GLSEN found that only 21 percent of students report that their school taught LGBTQ-related topics in any class and only 15 percent of teachers included such topics in their curriculum, despite that being taught LGBTQ-related topics is related to lower levels of bullying and harassment toward LGBTQ students.

Although some school districts are implementing comprehensive sex education programs, AMAZE encourages parents not to wait. Talking with kids about sex and growing up is important, but it's tempting to put it off. AMAZE videos are available online to help parents break the ice and start these critical conversations so that kids get the accurate information they need.

Each video is accompanied by resources for parents, including conversation starters, books and websites parents can use to help facilitate talking with their kids.


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