“Sexual-minority youth should not be considered abnormal,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in its new materials on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youths, released Monday.
The policy statement and technical report — which updates a 2004 policy — is nonbinding but recommends that pediatricians create offices that are “teen-friendly and welcoming to all adolescents, regardless of sexual orientation and behavior.”
Doctors can signal their openness to LGBTQ youths by putting out brochures with pictures of “both same- and opposite-gender couples” or posting a “rainbow” decal on an office door or bulletin board. The report also suggests that medical questionnaires be changed to be gender-neutral, and that staff be trained to not ask a boy about his girlfriend, but to ask him to “tell me about your partner” instead.
AAP’s new guidelines are not filled with “gloom and doom” about LGBTQ youths, said Dr. David A. Levine, lead author and member of the AAP’s Committee on Adolescence.
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