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Sex Talks are Challenging for Parents of LGBTQ Teens

Sex Talks are Challenging for Parents of LGBTQ TeensHeterosexual parents of LGBTQ adolescents don’t always know how to discuss sex, a new study says.

“Healthy parent-adolescent relationships and effective parenting are robust predictors of sexual health in heterosexual adolescents,” the authors wrote in the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy. But they added that LGBTQ teens struggle more with sexual health issues compared to their straight and cisgender counterparts.

Researchers from Northwestern University’s Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health (ISGMH) asked 44 parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) teens to participate in online focus groups and discuss their experiences and challenges guiding their children’s sexual knowledge. Their children were between the ages of 13 and 17.

Some parents were unsure of how to discuss LGBTQ sexual experiences when they had not had them themselves. Some were not clear on the mechanics and lacked a frame of reference, so providing guidance was difficult. Some were uncomfortable discussing sex in general.

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