The Lack Of Sex Education For Queer Students Impact Their Mental Health And Emotional Wellbeing

2000 Words 8 Pages
How does the lack of sex education for queer students impact their mental health and emotional wellbeing? It is important to begin with an acknowledgement of the value of identity validation. Among LGBTQ+ communities across all age groups, geographic locations, and other social identifiers, a common experience is the lack of validation – or even recognition – of queer identities. This can become especially salient within sex educational contexts. I work as a Health Educator with Peer Health Exchange (PHE), a national organization that has college students teaching health education to 9th and 10th graders at local high schools. As I was explaining the work that I do with PHE to a group of students and faculty during Columbia and Barnard’s LGBTQ Student Leadership Retreat this past October, one person asked if PHE’s curriculum was queer- and trans-inclusive. I replied that it was queer-inclusive, as some of the scenarios involved individuals who both identified as male or both identified as female and did not have any explicitly heteronormative messaging. But when it came to being trans-inclusive, I could only say that it was not cisnormative (or excluding of trans identities). The curriculum does specify that the individuals in scenarios identified as male or female, not that they were, and it didn’t specify anything about their genitalia or the gender they were assigned at birth, nor did it use language that was explicitly cisnormative. To the folks in the room at the LGBTQ…

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