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Article--age of sexual debut

Posted by JetBoyNathan on 2020-July-21 14:25:34, Tuesday

So I found this article that was recently published and it's mind-numbingly frustrating. People are so consistently close to getting it, to making the final leap towards understanding that children are autonomous sexual beings and should be respected as such. I've linked to it below, but here's the text if people have trouble accessing it (I often do when trying to follow links):

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Age of sexual debut among young gay-identified sexual minority men

by Rutgers University

Young gay sexual minority men—especially Black and Latino youth—have their first sexual experiences at younger ages, emphasizing a need for comprehensive and inclusive sex education, according to Rutgers researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Sex Research, examined consensual sex behaviors to better understand same-sex sexual debut, or the age at which people first engage in sexual behaviors.

The researchers, part of the Rutgers School of Public Health's Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS), found that 19 percent of participants had their first sexual experience before the age of 13.

The researchers also found that same-sex sexual encounters first happen, on average, at 14.5 years, with Hispanic/Latinx and Black non-Hispanic participants reporting a younger age for their first time performing oral sex or engaging in anal sex, compared to their peers.

Earlier age of sexual debut among sexual minority men is associated with a range of sexual and health risk behaviors, including increased likelihood of condomless sex; tobacco, alcohol, and other substance use; psychological distress; suicidality; and earlier age of HIV diagnosis.

According to the researchers, health care providers, including pediatricians and behavioral health therapists, can help reduce potential harms of these behaviors by having candid conversations about sex; not assuming the sexual identities or behaviors of their young patients; actively inquiring about sexual behaviors with partners of all genders; providing appropriate counseling about all sexual behaviors and their associated risks for HIV and other STIs; and speaking with adolescent patients in private—without parents/guardians present—whenever legally and ethically possible.

Providers working with young gay men of all ages should also consider beginning routine testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases at earlier ages than previously indicated, particularly among youth of color.

"Our results suggest that health care providers can play an active role in mitigating sexual and health behaviors that are associated with the early onset of same-sex sexual behaviors; to date the medical profession is ill equipped to address the needs of LGBTQ+ people," said Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Comprehensive sexuality education, which is inclusive of sexual and gender minority populations and all types of sexual behaviors, may not only empower sexual and gender minority youth to make informed choices about their sexual health and behavior, but may also improve school climate through educating non-LGBTQ peers.

"As many schools are forced to redesign their classrooms and curricula to accommodate socially distanced or remote learning for COVID-19, this may be the perfect time to consider implementing comprehensive sex education programming to provide age-appropriate sexual health education for people of all genders and sexual orientations," said Caleb LoSchiavo, doctoral student at the Rutgers School of Public Health and co-author.

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I just... they're this close! It should be celebrated that young gay boys feel free to have their "sexual debut" at younger ages, that should be a good thing. Like honestly, 14.5 is the average? So much for the age of consent!

But no, instead it's automatically assumed to be a problem. They make “is associated with” into this terrible chain of causation that implies having sex at a young age directly leads to substance abuse, psychological distress, HIV, and suicide. This is such bullshit. *How* are these things associated? And did it ever occur to you that if a young person is experiencing all those other things then just maybe they would be that much more eager to turn to sex as a source of comfort?

This is where we need our own research. Those of you plugged into the scientific community, do you know any good studies that clarify this "association"? I remember several about the myth of trauma, how early sexual experience does not usually result in long-term traumatic effects unlike the other "risky" behaviors associated with an "early sexual debut," but this isn't my stomping grounds.

I like when Halkitis is better with his language and doesn't imply that "early onset" "same-sex behavior" is bad. He encourages folks to do what they can to make those experiences better and safer and healthier instead of outright condemning them. But then he calls the medical profession "ill equipped to address the needs of LGBTQ people" and it's like?? You do realize your industry is diametrically opposed to gender and sexual deviance by design? You are one of the linchpins of our oppression! It's not just "ill equipped," the whole apparatus needs to be overturned.

Also, comprehensive sex ed is great, but do these people really think that teens are gonna stop bullying each other because they know a little bit more about how sex works? Come on. Why are you prescribing bureaucratic and procedural solutions to problems that are social and cultural? Have the balls to reinstate childlovers as educators! Reinstate same-gender spaces! Not always and everywhere, integration is important, but like we can have both! You're not gonna fix the problem of violence btwn young people and violence against queer folk by medicating or educating or counseling it away. That's not how any of this works.

Ughhh I'm pressed. Anyway, what does everyone else think?

  • (https site) Medical Xpress, Rutgers University
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