Pediatricians and conversations about LGBT and sexual issues

Another example is as close as your pediatrician’s office. Most pediatricians now conduct a psychosocial interview (typically the HEEADSSS questionnaire) as part of a child’s physical—usually after showing parents the door, “because a parent’s presence is likely to limit how much sensitive information the patient will provide.” The psychosocial interview includes recommended questions about sexual attraction. “Are you interested in boys? Girls? Both? Not sure?”

That’s bad enough. But in 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement (and technical guidance) on “Office-Based Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth.” The policy advises physicians on how to create a welcoming environment for “sexual minority” youth—and reminds docs to jettison hetero-normative assumptions because any (or every) child might be LGBT.

I read this article and was wondering what your experiences have been with pediatricians…Do they actually ask these questions? I’ve also heard that they’ll assure teenagers that masturbation is normal and healthy–is this true? Or do they show respect for the family’s beliefs?

I never ran into any issues with transgender questions with my children, but this was a while ago. We did run into issues (before we switched to a Christian physician) with the pediatrician talking about sex, homosexual sex, and sexually transmitted disease. This was when he was trying to talk to my children about the Guardasil immunization and telling them what is was for and what it would prevent.

As far as showing respect for the families belief system? Really, I think primarily what is on the physician’s mind is what are they required to do by their clinic, by state laws and by their malpractice insurance I think you can toss faith out the window if any of the above trump that just my two cents.

I was told this as a teen, though I never got the LGBT stuff. Medically speaking, masturbation is normal and healthy, and a doctor would be lying (and could get into serious trouble) for telling a teen otherwise.

It’s up to you and only you to impart your values onto your child. A vegetarian can’t expect a doctor to tell a child that chicken is unhealthy and bad when it’s demonstrably not - it’s in the parent to say “Chicken may well be considered ABC, however, we don’t eat it because XYZ”.

Never happened. My oldest is 15.

I assume he gets 3 more well child visits until 18.

It’s fairly standard for medical practice and something we are taught in training to do.

As an infectious disease physician I had similar and even more comprehensive discussions with teens at STD clinics, but I suppose the cat is out of the bag at that point.

I do recall my pediatrician asking if I was sexually active when I was a teen. My mother never went in the exam room with me beyond the age of 10 or 11. She would come in after the exam.

I, too, remember being asked whether I was sexually active, but not any of the other things mentioned in the article.


At least anecdotally from my own experience and people I know, I think general pediatricians as well as family medicine practitioners are more likely to work with and respect parents when it comes to issues such as refusing the HPV vaccine.

On the other hand, I do know a friend of mine once went to see an “adolescent medicine” provider as a teenager, and did wind up feeling shamed by the doctor as somehow “abnormal” for NOT being sexually active, and it seems many such providers do have a particular social agenda.

I also once met an “adolescent medicine” provider who was very anti-Catholic and said things such as “Catholics believe sex is only for procreation” that I knew wasn’t true, but it seemed that may have been based more on personal bad experiences with the Church.

I think the conversations have expanded and reflect the times we are living in. It doesn’t mean things are happening that never happened before, it just means people are talking about it.

It doesn’t bother me, honestly, and I hope my kids are comfortable discussing these topics with me so the pediatrician isn’t the first one to discuss it.

I am a Christian youth, and rest assured, they have never talked to myself nor to my peers (as far as I would know) on the matter. Either way, I believe that a good Christian teenager should be morally educated enough to know not to have contact with these moral flaws in themselves, and if they ever should, to seek guidance.

Luckily, our curriculum has not yet mentioned homosexuality nor transgenderism. It appears as though my peers take issue with the whole idea. There is hope!

Why would masturbation come up at all? The doctors bring it up or they are answering questions? I don’t consider it a medical condition.

I had a doctor insist that I was lying when I said I was not sexually active (I was in college).

Recently my daughter told the doctor that she was not sexually active and the doctor reacted in obvious shock and acted like there was something wrong with her. :rolleyes:

It would likely only come up if the teen asked. As in “I’m doing this, does it make me weird? Will I go blind?”

Masturbation is NEVER normal or healthy!! It would not be a sin if it was!!! Self sex is never healthy or normal! It can seriously effect the normal development of a child. Children should be taught to respect their bodies and care for them as the treasure God intended them to be. We do our kids a terrible injustice to teach them otherwise! Why do you think the burst of sexually transmitted deceases have become so rampant !! God Bless, Memaw

That’s good to know and I’m sure the teens appreciate knowing they aren’t going to go blind! lol

I’ve treated a lot of people for sexually transmitted diseases. A lot. Not one of them got it from masturbation.

That aside, you are confusing medical fact and religious absolutes. It is not the role of the physician to discuss the latter.

You’re not kidding! There’s a lot of bad information passed around in the school yard and locker room.

A popular one when I was in high school was that you could shorten your period by taking 8 Motrin the morning it starts then 8 more in the afternoon and another 8 that night.

I don’t know if it will stop your period but it will sure help give you kidney failure.

Some other gems:
Tampons made you no longer a virgin (this one was backed up by some mothers)
Douche early and often (also backed up by mothers)
You can’t get pregnant if you jump up and down after sex
Oral sex is no big deal because you can’t get pregnant or any STDs
Your breasts get larger because they’re filled with milk even if you aren’t pregnant or recently given birth

Sometimes a little reprogramming is necessary.

Yes this happened to me too.

It was with my gynecologist and I was in my early 20s.

What shocked the doctor even more was that I was an atheist.

But hey, even an atheist knows that sleeping around carried with it risks of pregnancy and disease and decide that sleeping around is not worth it.

Never heard the breast one. Doesn’t sound as bad as the Motrin thing, though! Good golly.

I’ve never understood why people still use douches. Maybe there needs to be a bit more education about what is and is not good hygiene.

Tha’ts the name of the game today, sad to say!! God Bless, Memaw

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