We believe that the principles described on this page apply to all youth, including those who
are sexually attracted to younger adolescents and children. The first principle arises from
our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all people, regardless of sexuality.
Principle 1. All youth are entitled to have their humanity and dignity acknowledged and respected.
The next four principles arise from current understandings of the development of mental health,
particularly as it applies to sexual minority youth. (See our mission statement
for more information.)
Principle 2. All youth are entitled to acceptance and compassion from those around them.
That means they have the right to live free from stigma and inaccurate negative assumptions
about them based on their sexuality.
Principle 3. All youth are entitled to attain full mental health. That means they have
the right to develop a sense of self-acceptance, a consolidated positive identity, satisfying
close relationships, and a positive outlook for their future.
Principle 4. All youth have the right to access accurate information about their sexuality.
Principle 5. All youth have the right to access a supportive community of peers and role models.
The next principle applies particularly to youth who are attracted to younger adolescents and children.
Principle 6. Youth should have the opportunity to learn from those who have attempted
to change sexual feelings and learn about the effectiveness, benefits, and risks of such
attempts. They should never be pressured into aversion therapy or other dangerous and
unethical procedures to eliminate or change their sexual feelings.
Our approach may raise concern that youth will be encouraged to sexually abuse younger
adolescents or children. However, we will never advocate that youth take advantage of
anyone's weakness, especially that of younger children. Attraction to younger people is
not an indication of poor character, irresponsibility, lack of self-control, or aggressiveness.
Principle 7. All youth have the responsibility to express their sexuality in ways that
respect others and do not coerce, pressure, manipulate, humiliate, or harm them.
Adolescents often have not yet developed a well-formed ethical framework since they have
not had the time or perspective from which to think through implications and possible
consequences of their actions. Thus, they may cause inadvertent harm by knowingly doing
things which they may not recognize as harmful. This can be especially common when youth have
no mentors or other role-models willing to explore with them ethical issues related to
their sexual or other behavior.
Youth can learn from the experiences of others whom they respect, who care about them,
who have different or more experience than themselves, and who take responsibility for
their actions. They can learn which actions are potentially harmful, and which ones respect the development, emotional health, and safety of others.
Thus, one of our goals is to give youth attracted to younger people the opportunity to
learn from each other and from role-models in order to develop a personal ethical code,
to learn about society's ethical standards, and to take responsibility for their actions.
We also believe in making information available that will help them to be aware of their
sexual feelings, to understand them, and to control them responsibly as should people of
all sexualities. We believe not in controlling people's sexual thoughts and feelings, but
rather in empowering them to control their behavior.
Of course, this works both ways.
Principle 8. All youth have the right to not be coerced, pressured, manipulated,
humiliated, or harmed in relation to their sexuality.