The CDC defines sexual health as “…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality.”
Researchs show that people who identify as LGBTI tend to report lower satisfaction rates in regards to sexual health. In large part this is due to a lack of discussion about LGBTI relationships and sexuality. While many people get such information on dating, relationships, and sexuality during their developmental years from parents, teachers, and other community establishments, LGBTI youth generally get their information online. This can be a great resource, but it can also be full of misleading or inaccurate information.
It is important for LGBTI youth to have access to sexual health resources. A significant factor in establishing sexual health is for both partners to feel safe and satisfied in their relations. Exploring questions pertaining to sexuality and safe practices with adults will help develop self-confidence and eliminate some fears.
Unfortunately, research continues to show that Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual youth are at an increased risk for being victims of violence, bullying, and suicidal thoughts. It is understandable then that youth who live under constant fear and harassment also encounter greater difficulty in maintaining sexual health within their personal relationships.
In addition to discussing such issues individually, communities can support youth by facilitating open discussions and youth organizations. Creating a safe place for youth to explore questions, raise concerns, and meet with people who share similar thoughts and feelings can go a long way in supporting LGBTI sexual health well into adulthood.
Needless to say, having open and honest conversations about sexuality within the LGBTI community is instrumental to achieving sexual health. The first step in achieving sexual health is to discuss concerns with a healthcare practitioner. Research also shows that people LGBTI youth and adults visit healthcare practitioners less frequently – reach out to a professional today and make an appointment.