‘Do say gay’: Inclusive sexuality discussions between parent and son

Kids are coming out at earlier ages than previous generations. A new study examines whether discussions at home about health and sexuality sufficiently meet kids’ sexual education needs.

Data show that Generation Z youth are coming out at earlier ages than previous generations of sexual- and gender-diverse individuals. However, little is known about LGBTQ youth’s perspectives on how or if parent-child discussions at home about health and sexuality sufficiently meet their sexual education needs.

A young boy sitting on a couch listening to his parent.

A new study led by an investigator from Penn’s School of Nursing explores the perspectives of gay, bisexual, and queer (GBQ) cisgender males about inclusive parent-child sex communication. It underscores the importance of inclusive sexuality conversations between parent and child for closeted, questioning, or even heterosexual youth.

The article detailing the study, “Do Say Gay: Inclusive Sexuality Discussions for Out, Closeted, Questioning, and Straight Youth,” is published in the Journal of Pediatric Healthcare. It shares study participants’ insight about how inclusive conversations about sex and sexuality can reduce internalized GBQ stigma and promote a sense of support among adolescents, as their parents are often a trusted resource for information and guidance.

“Additionally, findings from this study underscore the significance of inclusive sex communication between parents and their children, and that the benefits of these conversations can reach beyond GBQ youth such that even heterosexual children who receive inclusive information from parents can be understanding and potential allies of their GBQ peers,” says Dalmacio Flores, assistant professor of nursing in the Department of Family and Community Health and lead investigator of the study.

Read more at Penn Nursing News.