Studies Show That LGBTQ Sex Ed Is Virtually Nonexistent In America’s Classrooms

Only 12% of American students learn about LGBTQ issues in sex ed.

With 23% of public school sex-ed classes following an abstinence-only curriculum, it’s easy to say the U.S. is woefully undereducating its youth on serious life-or-death health issues. But when it comes to LGBTQ students — some of the country’s most vulnerable — curriculum in the United States is virtually nonexistent.

A recent survey of 4,643 New York City high school students by the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology found that half of sexually-active females reported “some same-sex experience” and that 1 in 4 are “women seeking women.” This trend could signify a large increase in the number of women who identify as lesbian or bisexual.

Gay Straight Alliance school bus. Photo by Jon Gilbert Leavitt/Flickr.

The study also found that LGBTQ teens are more sexually active than their heterosexual-identifying classmates. About 50% of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students reported being sexually active versus 24.1% of heterosexuals. Research suggests that teens who participate in same-sex relationships are at higher risk for substance abuse, partner abuse, suicidal thoughts, and STIs.

To improve the safety of LGBTQ youth, the U.S. needs to radically rethink its sex-ed curriculum. According to a 2014 study by GLSEN, a nonprofit that works to create safe spaces for LGBT youth, just 5% of LGBTQ students reported that their sex-ed classes showed a positive representation of same-sex relationships. A 2015 study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that only 12% of students said their sex-ed classes covered same-sex relationships at all.

Open discussions about sexually-fluid behavior and positive examples of same-sex couples are necessary to improve self-acceptance among LGBTQ students. It will also help alleviate the stressors that can lead to substance abuse, suicide, and violence. Education about safe-sex practices unique to the LGBT community can also help lower the rate of STIs. “We’ve made a lot of progress, but unfortunately, sex education is very heteronormative and doesn’t address the needs of LGBTQ young people,” Nicole Cushman, executive director of Answer, told Teen Vogue.


When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less