Likely due to strict rules in ethics committees regarding minors in research, MAPs who are themselves minors are an understudied and underrepresented population in research. Nonetheless, they are a discrete category (Beier et al., 2016), as most MAPs discover their attraction well before they are legal adults (AACAP, 1999; Abel & Harlow, 2001; Farella, 2002; Freund & Kuban, 1993; Johnson, 2002; Houtepen, Sijtsema, & Bogaerts, 2015; B4U-ACT, 2011b; Tozdan & Briken, 2015; Seto, 2012; Bailey, Hsu, & Bernhard, 2016). This makes them a critical population not only for research, but as potential recipients of mental health services.

Self-discovery of one’s MAP identity is often (though not always) accompanied by negative emotions (Cash, 2016). For many, these negative emotions are strong enough to prompt suicidal ideation or suicide attempts (B4U-ACT, 2011). Despite this, few programs provide services for minor MAPs, and those that do often stigmatize them and endanger their mental health by treating them as risks to be managed rather than as valuable young people to be helped (Beier et al., 2016), an approach which various researchers reinforce (Houtepen, Sijtsema, & Bogaerts, 2015; Goode, 2010, pp. 189-190; Shields, Benelmouffok, & Letourneau, 2015). Some researchers have begun advocating for treatment that focuses on the minor MAP individual’s needs as a primary goal instead of prevention, however (Nobrega, 2016; Freimond, 2009).

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