A study that describes itself as the first to “specifically examine Asian American adolescents’ beliefs regarding discussions of sexual health between health care providers and Asian American adolescents” reports that Asian American youth have a lot of opinions about sex. Specifically, young Asian Americans stress that inadequate communication between themselves and their parents and healthcare providers compromises their access to adequate sexual education.
Researchers interviewed twenty young Asian Americans between 14 and 18 years old (median age was 16.7), with an even split between self-identified male and female respondents. Interviewees included Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Thai, Korean and Laotian American teenagers mostly born in the United States.
In talking with these Asian American young people, investigators learned that many were dissatisfied with their own education on sexual health, and were motivated to learn more. Unfortunately, however, most of the adolescents expressed that their sources of knowledge on sex were limited: only 40% reported having had any conversation with a parent about sexual health. More shockingly, only 15% had ever discussed sexually transmitted diseases with a healthcare provider, and only 5% had ever talked to their doctors about sex, contraception, or pregnancy.
A study being conducted by a doctoral student of Counseling Psychology at Indiana University under the training of Dr. Joel Wong is recruiting survey respondents to better understand how gendered racism might uniquely affect Asian American men. The student running the study — Tao Liu — has asked that I help publicize this work on the blog, in hopes of reaching out to a broad range of study participants.
This study offers a necessary opportunity to explore and understand the complex self-identity of Asian American men. As such, I strongly encourage any readers who think they fit the demographics of the study’s desired recruits to participate.
Please see the full recruiting notice after the jump.
A new study published two months ago in the American Journal of Public Health delves for the first time into the complex intersection of race and sexuality in mental health issues affecting the nation’s youth, and their results are telling.
Using survey data from 2005-2007, the group assessed the mental health outcomes of over 70,000 teens living in 14 districts, and which included over 6,000 sexual minorities. The group was able to for the first time disaggregate depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among teens by race and gender, and particularly with regard to often-times invisible racial groups — multiracial and Alaska Native / Pacific Islander youths.
In their study, the group found that regardless of race, sexual minorities are about twice as likely as sexual majorities to feel sad, and about three or four times as likely to self-harm or attempt suicide. The absolute numbers are also striking — half of LGBTQ youth between ages 13 to 18 feel an unusual degree of sadness, and one in three have attempted suicide. One in three.
This finding can be nothing other than a profound and poignant demonstration of our society’s failure to provide LGBTQ youths the kind of supportive, accepting environment that they need to feel accepted.