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PsyPost - Gay and bisexual youth can thrive with positive family relationships

Gay and bisexual youth who are supported by their family and feel comfortable talking to them about their lifestyle are less likely to become involved in high-risk sexual behaviors, according to a recent Rutgers study.

Published in the Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, the Rutgers School of Social Work study, “Condoms and Connection: Parents, Gay and Lesbian Youth and HIV Risk,” found that positive family relationships and open dialogue led to an increase in safe sex practices, including the use of condoms, while disrupted family relationships resulted in risky sexual behaviors.

“Youth had limited engagement in unsafe sex when the families were able to have open, reciprocal discussions that were low in disagreement. Close family connections seemed to provide a context for safety,” says Michael LaSala, associate professor and a licensed clinical social worker.