New research has shown that LGBTI-inclusive sex education leads to benefits for all students, including young straight people.

The study, published in The Journal of Adolescent Health, analysed data to compare health outcomes across states in the US with differing degrees of LGBTI inclusion in school sex education.

It found that inclusive education led to a reduction in bullying, and better mental health results for LGBTI young people, including reduced depressive symptoms and reduced suicidality.

In the states with the highest proportion of schools teaching inclusive sex education, rates of bullying against LGBTI students were the lowest.

The research also found that the wellbeing of heterosexual students was improved by LGBTI-inclusive sex education.

The study’s authors concluded that inclusive sex education contributes to less homophobic and transphobic school environments, decreasing anti-LGBTI victimisation. They recommended that the findings be used to guide interventions by schools and by state governments.

In the UK, new guidelines introduced this year mean students are receiving compulsory lessons on LGBTI issues, News.com.au reported.

The classes have faced a backlash from some parents and religious groups.

Australia’s anti-bullying Safe Schools program has drawn similar criticism over the past years, including when conservative religious Senator Fraser Anning called it “sexually deviant propaganda” by “commo perverts” in September.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he sends his children to private schools to avoid the program.

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