Queer Youth Experiences with Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Sexuality Education: "I can't get married so where does that leave me?"

Fisher, C. M.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2009
Routledge, c/o Taylor & Francis, Inc.
Journal of LGBT Youth, 6(1); 61-79: 2009
Routledge, c/o Taylor & Francis, Inc.

Abstinence-only-until-marriage sexuality education has received increasing attention in relation to policy, funding, and research. Despite large sums of federal money spent to develop, implement, and to some extent, assess abstinence-only education, virtually no studies have assessed the experiences of such a curriculum for gay and bisexual male youth. In this qualitative study, the author explored the experiences of eight gay and bisexual male youth who had an abstinence-only-until-marriage sexuality education. He analyzed narratives from semi-structured interviews to identify emergent themes. The final themes, addressed by at least half of the participants in their narratives, were: active silence, at risk stories, hostility after the fact, and resiliency. The voices of these young men lend empirical evidence to the often cited but undocumented negative gay and bisexual male youth experience with an abstinence-only sexuality education.

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