The National Sexual Violence Resources Center defines healthy sexuality as "having the knowledge and power to express sexuality in ways that enrich one's life. It includes approaching sexual interactions and relationships from a perspective that is consensual, respectful, and informed. Healthy sexuality is free from coercion and violence."
Healthy sexual development involves many aspects of an individual, including sexual orientation, gender identity, biological sex, sexual attraction, and sexual behavior. The Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health Education Program (ARSHEP) provides a series of PowerPoint trainings to help providers address the sexual health of their adolescent patients.
Resources to Share with Parents
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth
As noted in the AAP statement on Office-Based Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth, sexually active LGBTQ youth are typically resilient and can emerge from adolescence as healthy adults. However, the presence of stigma from homophobia and heterosexism can lead to psychological distress, which may contribute to an increase in risky behaviors.
LGBTQ youth are facing more disparities in mental health, substance abuse, and sexually transmitted infections (STI). Providers should implement a teen-friendly practice that accommodates patients of different backgrounds and orientations as they move through adolescence. As part of its Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program, Physicians for Reproductive Health developed a PowerPoint training focused on providing optimal care for LGBT youth.
Additional training and support materials for caring for the LGBTQ adolescent is offered by the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, Some of their recommended websites include: