Research Article| Volume 35, ISSUE 2, P138-146, April 2022

Transgender Youths’ Sexual Health and Education: A Qualitative Analysis

Published:October 03, 2021DOI:


      Study Objective

      To characterize transgender adolescents’ sexual behaviors, identities, and their perceived experiences with sex education.


      Semi-structured interviews were conducted and addressed sexual experiences and perceptions of sex education received from family, school educators, and healthcare providers. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed utilizing NVivo 12 software for thematic analysis.


      Child and adolescent gender services clinic at a Midwestern university-based medical center in the United States.


      30 transgender adolescents between the ages of 15 to 20.

      Interventions and Main Outcome Measures

      Themes generated during semi-structured interviews.


      Sexual orientations were inclusive of attractions to a spectrum of gender identities. Libido was perceived to be impacted by gender-affirming hormone therapy, which was unanticipated for some adolescents. Family and school-based sex education was perceived to be relevant only for heterosexual and cisgender adolescents. Inclusive education for transgender adolescents was desired. Counseling provided by gender-affirming providers on sexual health was trusted and other healthcare providers were perceived to lack training on gender-inclusive care.


      This study demonstrated that families and school educators did not provide sex education perceived to be applicable to transgender adolescents. Similarly, healthcare providers of transgender adolescents were perceived to not provide inclusive or comprehensive medical care in comparison to physicians who routinely provide gender-affirming care. Gaps in education and healthcare could be improved with sex education outreach or training for families and school educators as well as the development and implementation of professional competencies for pediatricians on transgender adolescent healthcare.


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