Photo Courtesy of Louisville Magazine
Yorba Linda High School

LGBTQ sexual health education, where is it?

Health is a major aspect of U.S. culture that has been popularized in its many forms. From physical health to mental health, the availability of research and treatment based on a numerous range of ailments is revolutionary and truly beneficial to the wellbeing of society.

Consequently, the U.S. educational system has placed a heavy emphasis on this topic in the sense that it is a core prospect in modern curriculum. Most secondary schools require a health education related course in order to graduate, in which the students are versed in the several facets of this subject. Topics fluctuate from mental disorder prognosticators, sexual health information, and current malady advisement.

Although this coursework is imperative, some question the monotony and generalization of the subject matter. Why do we advertise health as such a one sided subject, when it has many implications? And among this conformity, why is sexual health for students such a depthless ordeal given the singularity of information provided?

Questions like these highlight the void in marginalized education, and compel the public to infer about the inclusion of LGBTQ-specific health concerns. According to the True Colors Fund, nearly 7% of today’s youth identify with this community. This may seem like a diminutive percentage when taking into account the majority of students. But with the constantly growing acceptance of this minority, you would expect the education of proper sexual health precautions to be addressed by cognitive academics.

Minority groups misrepresented in U.S. culture comes as no shock given our past and current oppression of those who unavoidably deviate from societal norms. But in wake of the prevalence of these individuals, why do we generalize such a complicit subject, and neglect the differences that affect their well-being? It may be that there is not sufficient research and funding to governmentally enforce this subject, or it may just be that we can only teach a generalized sexual health agenda because of its majority of compliance.

Although that it may seem easier to continue this educational invariability, the inclusion of LGBTQ-related health information is severely beneficial to the individual’s physical well-being, as well as mental. This not only becomes an issue of safety, but one of representation in modern society. If these individuals are only taught the boundaries of a heterosexual relationship, how are they to know the scientific reasoning behind their sexuality if they can’t even feel comfortable expressing what makes them human? This forms a lackluster boundary between the student’s sense of self and reality, dispelling the very concept of an all-inclusive education.

Despite our non-existent efforts to integrate this information into our health-related curriculum, there are a few things that may serve as solutions to this mental drought. For one, we could reevaluate the educational health program, and edit in an LGBTQ-related sexual health section, or we could even publicize an individualized sexual health course to the student’s who identify with this community.

Whatever the correct solution may be, the health and well-being of modern society should be one of our top priorities.

As Yorba Linda High School senior Derick Ma puts it, “Sexual education is already taught so differently between opposing genders, and it’s very dangerous for LGBTQ students to leave high school, figuring out their sexual identity alone. If health is to be taught, it would be beneficial if it tailored to everyone, ensuring the safety of our youth.”

Societally, we must regard the subject as all-encompassing, keeping in mind the difference in personal situation in order to educate, act, and thrive as a united culture of idiosyncrasies.