Current Projects

Project STEP

Sex Talk to Empower Parents

Identifying parents' insight about best way to talk about sexual health with gay, bisexual, or queer sons.

Project STEP (Sex Talk to Empower Parents), funded by the NIH, seeks to identify parents’ experiences when providing sexual health information with sons who do not have the same typical concerns as their heterosexual peers. Through one-on-one interviews, we are determining what the barriers and facilitators are to parents’ ability to discuss inclusive sexuality information. Instead of moms and dads warning sons about heteronormative concerns such as avoid getting a girlfriend pregnant, this study seeks to enumerate the ways parents can have tailored and meaningful sex talks at home that are more in line with sons’ emergent attractions and behaviors.

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Project STEP is focused on enumerating previously understudied parental factors crucial to sex talks with GBQ sons. Through extensive discussions with parents, we expect to:

  • report parents' perspectives on sexuality-inclusive sex talks,

  • describe the nature of sex communication before and after parents have awareness of sons' sexual orientation

  • identify sexual health topics parents covered with their sons, what they deem as necessary to discuss with future GBQ adolescents, and when they think each recommended topics should be talked about at home