What Queer Girls Aren't Being Taught About Sexually Transmitted Infections Is Criminal

"Participants told us, they 'literally had never heard of dental dams,'" says the author of a disturbing new study.

A recent study has confirmed what many queer women already know: Teen girls are getting virtually no information about protecting themselves from sexually transmitted infections during same-sex encounters.

Researchers at the Center for Innovative Public Health Research in collaboration with the University of British Columbia and the City University of New York, surveyed 160 queer-identified girls ages 14-18, and found that many had no idea it was even possible to get an STI having sex with another women.

"Participants told us, they 'literally had never heard of dental dams,' or thought STIs weren't a concern when having sex with girls," said UCB researcher Jennifer Wolowic. Others admitted they didn't know STIs could be transmitted via shared sex toys.

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"Many [girls] told us they didn't find their sex-ed programs, if they even had one, to be very informative," Wolowic added. "And even when they asked questions, the focus on heterosexual sex made them feel uncomfortable."

The report, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, aligns with another recent survey indicating 75% of Americans received no information about non-heterosexual sex in school.

A 2015 study indicated gay, lesbian and bi teens were also more likely to experience an unintended pregnancy than their straight peers: Researchers theorize that may be fueled by stigma, coerced sex, and an assumption they don't require information about birth control.

The real questions is, how many more studies need to be published before we make sex-ed comprehensive, inclusive and universal?

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