Gender and Sexuality Development
Career Paths Logo

This section includes resources that may serve as guides for providers, families, and youths to learn more about gender and sexuality throughout the lifespan. Resources include general information about gender and sexual development as well as specific resources that providers can use with patients and families.

Gender and Sexuality Development Topics

A. Gender Development

AACAP Facts for Families on Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth (2017)
This guide from the Academy explains key terms related to gender development and concepts pertinent to gender diverse youth. 

American Academy of Pediatrics – Gender Identity Development
This site provides introductory information on gender identity development, expression, and stereotypes, with links to parenting gender non-conforming and transgender children.

American Psychological Association – Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
This site provides answers to common questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, same sex marriage, and facts for educators.

Association of LGBTQ Psychiatrists LGBT Issues Committee – Development Issues Across the Lifespan
This free online course addresses LGBT issues across the lifespan, including terminology, etiology, identity, childhood and adolescence, stress, the physician’s role in support, coming out, partnering, parenting, and aging.

Testa, R.J., Coolhart, D., & Peta, J. (2015). Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity. Oakland, CA: Instant Help Books.
This workbook is a tool that psychotherapists and other mental health clinicians can use with their adolescent patients. It provides skills, activities, and exercises from evidence-based therapies to aid with psychosocial concerns related to gender identity.

National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Healthy - Gender Development and Young Children
This is a guide written by the U.S. government’s Office of Head Start Early Childhood Learing and Knowledge Center for professionals who work with young children. It provides guidance on healthy gender development, including stages and gender roles, how to create a safe and nurturing environment (including an excellent book list), and how to respond to questions regarding gender development.

B. Sexuality Development

American Academy of Pediatrics – Sexual Orientation and Adolescents
This clinical guide for the pediatrician offers guidance regarding sexual orientation, including the importance of awareness of patient concerns surrounding sexuality, psychosocial concerns surrounding sexuality, the need to provide non judgmental confidential information, and the readiness to counsel or refer if necessary.

American Psychological Association – Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth
This guide is a collaboration among multiple education, social work, faith, and health professional societies written for educators to aid in addressing conversion therapies and provide a safe educational environment for sexually diverse youth.

American Psychological Association – Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
This site provides answers to common questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, same sex marriage, and facts for educators.

C. Parent & Caregiver Resources

Advocates for Youth – LGBTQ Issues Info for Parents
This national organization focuses on providing services and information related to youth sexual health. The site contains a wealth of information for parents and youth about LGBTQ issues, including publications and teaching resources for providers and other advocates.

American Academy of Pediatrics - Healthychildren.org
HealthyChildren.org is a website run by the American Academy of Pediatrics designed to provide accessible health information to parents. Providers can use these sites to help educate and guide parents/guardians. This site offers basic information about the coming out process and has additional links to information about talking to adolescents about sex, gender diverse and transgender youth, bullying, and discrimination.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Parents’ Influence on the Health of LGB Teens
This printable tipsheet from the Centers for Disease Control offers parents of LGB teens brief information on health risks among LGB youth, the importance of parent involvement, and links for additional support and information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Positive Parenting Practices
This site provides links to several topics about Positive Parenting Practices, including ways that parents can monitor their teens’ activities, fathers can help reduce risky teen sexual behaviors, and how to have meaningful discussions about sex, relationships, pregnancy, and STD’s.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Resources for Parents and Families
This resource page provides organizations, tipsheets, and projects supporting LGBT Youth. Links are divided into resources for LGBT Youth & Friends/Supporters, Educators & School Administrators, and Parents, Guardians, & Family Members.

Family Acceptance Project
The Family Acceptance Project focuses on research and services to determine strength and resiliency factors to help parents best support LGBTQ family members. The organization provides free research-based, culturally sensitive family education materials in English, Spanish, and Chinese.  Materials include publications for parents, caregivers, and providers.

Family Equality Council – The Book Nook
The Family Equality Council is a non-profit organization focused on equality for LGBTQ families. The Book Nook offers age-appropriate book recommendations across development, that parents and guardians can use with their children to explore topics around gender, diverse families, and sexuality.

PFLAG
PFLAG is the largest LGBTQ family and ally organization with 400 chapters across the country, Their mission is to foster equality through support, education, and advocacy. Their website contains a wealth of information for parents and allies, including informational publications for families and a searchable nation-wide database of local chapters.

D. Teen Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics  – Health Concerns for Gay and Lesbian Teens
This resource provides basic information to LGB teens about special health risks related to their sexual orientation and some tips on how to address them. 

Family Equality – The Book Nook
This website provides a list of books for young adults that have LGBTQ-related story lines. 

Gender Spectrum - Teens
This website provides a variety of resources for gender diverse teenagers, including a description of gender as well as community, health, and legal resources.

It Gets Better Project
This website provides a host of videos to support LGBTQ youth who may feel that they are alone or who have struggles related to their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Lambda Legal – Resources for LGBTQ Youth by State
This website provides a list of community centers and sites that serve gender and sexual minority youth, broken down by state. Providers can use this site to help youth locate local resources for support groups, housing, legal supports, mental health resources, employment opportunities, and other resources. 

Q Space Chat
Q Chat Space is an online live chat for LGBTQ teens that is moderated by professionals from several non-profit organizations. It is designed to provide a space for teens to connect around interests and seek support.

The Trevor Project Support Center
This website provides answers to frequently asked questions, resources for LGBTQ youth, and links to support hotlines, chat rooms, and text.