Teaching Puberty for LGBTQIA+ Diversity

Inclusion, and Beyond: A New Model of Expansive Pubertal Understanding

The following article presents a paradigm shift in order to engage in more expansive pedagogy in the teaching of puberty; specifically, to create a more inclusive and affirming space for LGBTIQA + youth. Attention to LGBTQIA + populations has slowly been integrated into many areas of research, theory, and teaching in psychology and related disciplines. While positive strides have been made, lessons on adolescent psychology, and puberty specifically, remain stuck in older binary models. The following is an examination of the dominant approach utilized for teaching puberty in senior-level high school and early undergraduate adolescent psychology courses, a critique of that model, as well as a presentation of a new model for teaching pubertal development. A proposed Model of Expansive Pubertal Understanding is shared here, and allows for a fuller, more accurate, and more positive, approach to pubertal development. It is further proposed that the information shared in this model be infused much earlier in youth education, and through a breadth of disciplines, to effectively promote psychological and physical wellbeing among children and youth of diverse genders, sexes, and sexualities.