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ERIC Number: EJ1167783
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1554-6128
"This Is How You Hetero:" Sexual Minorities in Heteronormative Sex Education
Hobaica, Steven; Kwon, Paul
American Journal of Sexuality Education, v12 n4 p423-450 2017
The efficacy of sex education has been questioned, as students participate in high rates of unsafe sex after completion. Without exploring various sexual minority (SM) identities (e.g., gay, lesbian, and bisexual) and forms of sex, sex education may be especially unhelpful for SMs by perpetuating the heteronormative (i.e., assuming heterosexuality is normal) environment they typically experience. In the present qualitative study, semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 SMs regarding their experiences with sex education using a grounded theory approach. Participants described sex education as being heteronormative and exclusive of their identities, making them feel invisible, sexually unprepared, and shameful. Sex education also reportedly contributed to sexual hesitance, sexual violence, and risky sexual behaviors. Participants endorsed histories of depression, anxiety, and suicidality, often associated with their identity. To become more informed and sexually prepared, they sought information through conversations with others, online searching, college courses, and trial and error sexual experiences. Participants also advocated for inclusive sex education, which would incorporate all identities and associated safe sex practices. They concluded that inclusivity in curricula could lead to various improved outcomes for SMs, such as safe sex, a sense of community, identity confidence, healthy relationships, and resilience.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A