Shelley Craig, PhD, RSW, LCSW (Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto), shares the differences in how LGBTQ+ youth utilize online media by age ranges at #AskTheExperts webinar “The Birds and the Bees: Sexuality and Screens” on April 6, 2022.

[Dr. Shelley Craig]: So what we found in terms of the effect of social media in LGBT youth, we do find that there are differences in age. So LGBT youth are significantly involved, both as producers and consumers of digital media, but younger adolescents are more likely to use social media for emotional support, entertainment and access to LGBT information. Older youth are more likely to use to access general education. And we do find there’s increased use and increased benefit for youth that are particularly isolated. But yet, the use of technology, and social media in particular, has helped LGBT youth experience greater self-acceptance. So we understand that could be a little bit of a controversial finding for some folks, but that’s really, I think, about what they’re not getting in many cases offline, in addition to what they are receiving online. Because not all LGBT youth live in affirming homes and community environments. And online spaces, this is important to remember, they don’t create but they reflect the structural discrimination.

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