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Centre for Applied Research in EducationUniversity of East AngliaMarket and Social Research - East Anglia
The Needs of Lesbian and Gay Young People - Exploring the Possibilities for Change in Schools
Current work (The HIV Prevention Needs of Young Gay Men) has uncovered how schools contribute to the difficulties associated with considering or accepting or developing a gay identity. In respect of the current work, this is relevant because '...identity may be crucial in the prevention of (HIV) transmission.' (Davies and Simpson 1990) The basic argument is that someone who has accepted himself as gay is more likely to take risk reduction seriously than someone who does not identify as gay, even if they are having homosexual feelings and/or sex. The homophobia that young gay men experience may inhibit coming to terms with their identity and their association with avowed gay organisations or groups, further diminishing their chances of appropriate support and HIV and AIDS education. Although this proposal takes as its starting point data generated only from young men, it is obviously appropriate in the context to look at the needs of all gay and lesbian young people.
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