Gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) youth face particular challenges in the achievement of sexual health due to lack of support in the settings that traditionally promote positive youth development—schools, families, peers, and communities. Instead, the Internet may play a major role in the sexual health development of GLB youth.
Through the Queer Sex Ed study, IMPACT has been examining the Internet as a setting for sexual health development among GLB youth. What are the positive and negative effects of the Internet? How can it be used to promote positive sexual health? Recently completed, Queer Sex Ed had three aims:
1. To conduct formative qualitative research on GLB youth use of the Internet and how it is linked to sexual health,
2. To study patterns of Internet use and sexual health using longitudinal data,
3. To translate findings from the first two projects into the creation of evidence-informed online health promotion materials.
Mixed methods analyses were used throughout the study, and over 200 GLB youth ages 16- to 20-years-old participated in the online health promotion portion of the study.
Investigator: Brian Mustanski, PhD
Funder: William T. Grant Foundation Scholars Award
What Queer Sex Ed participants have to say:
“This program was honest and had that LGBT focus which was incredibly useful. So often LGBT youth just have to guess or try to find information on their own. I really liked being asked to actually look for locations where I could get tested (They have weekly walk-in times and it’s always free – How did I not know this??) and the discussion of other safe sex practices than just condom basics.”
“It involved the personal interactions between partners that is needed for a healthy relationship. Sex ed normally focuses on just condoms and the physical health of a relationship.”
“My favorite part of the program was seeing videos of actual youth in the LGBTQ community who face the same challenges as all of us. But the program was really enjoyable and educational. It is FAR better than a high school sex ed. class for we can actually relate to it.”
“I feel really confident in my relationship and sexual safety now. I didn’t honestly take safe sex seriously before this, I thought things like HIV and all that couldn’t happen to me. After seeing videos of real people, I now see that it could happen to me if I don’t protect myself. This program was awesome. Thank you so much for creating it.”
Health Education Content
A variety of interactive content was used in the Queer Sex Ed project, and below is a selection of videos, on topics ranging from condoms and lube to coming out and being part of a community. Other HTML5 and Flash content are not provided on this page.