Shelley Craig, PhD, RSW, LCSW (Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto), discusses the intersection between media use and depression in LGBTQ+ youth at #AskTheExperts webinar “The Birds and the Bees: Sexuality and Screens” on April 6, 2022.

[Dr. Shelley Craig]: More than non-LGBT populations, over 90 percent report using a smartphone, and again depending on the study, it can be more than that, but significantly more. Yet we do have, and this has been consistent, fairly consistent over time, high rates of depression, and in different studies ranging from 1 out of 4, typically 1 out of every 2 LGBT young folks that I work with have significant depression. And it can be higher for trans and gender-diverse youth. And they encounter many barriers to mental healthcare which is one of the reasons we started to understand the role of social media on their mental health. And we have found, just very briefly, they’ve been particularly vulnerable, related to their technologies, but also related to COVID-19, and in many cases being trapped inside, with unsupportive and, in many cases, abusive and hostile families. And they’ve really been cut off from their LGBT-identifying supports.

View the full webinar

Ask the Experts—Webinar

The Birds and the Bees: Sexuality and Screens

Media is playing an increased role in shaping youth sexual education and norms - what are kids seeing online? Experts share research and practical strategies on how to navigate parent-child conversations about media and still-developing sexual interests, identities, and behaviors.

Social Media
Sexual Content
Social Relationships