Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-18-2020

Journal / Book Title

Journal of LGBT Youth


Using focus groups, this qualitative study asked thirty-five gay, lesbian, and bisexual (LGB) young adults to reflect on messages they received about sex and sexuality around the time they first had sex. Focus groups were conducted, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Through thematic analysis, the authors identified two messaging sources identified by participants: (1) formal education sources (i.e., school and parents), and (2) informal education sources (e.g., internet, peers). Formal sources often included messages perpetuating heteronormative assumptions, emphasizing abstinence, pregnancy and HIV/STI prevention, or silence as a form of messaging. Informal sources consisted of LGB-specific information. These findings suggest informal sources may provide more useful and relevant information to LGB youth, further suggesting a need for more inclusive and comprehensive sexuality education.


Published Citation

Bible, Jacqueline, Alejandra Kaplan, Lisa Lieberman, and Eva Goldfarb. "A retrospective analysis of sex education messages received by LGB youth." Journal of LGBT Youth (2020): 1-20. Harvard