You know in high school when they give you those tests to find out what type of learner you are so they can “cater to different students”? Then you realize, it’s no wonder school is so difficult because none of the teachers actually make an effort to satisfy the different types of learning?
Yeah, this parallels with sexuality in health classrooms.
How would you expect every student
to have similar outcomes from the course when not everybody thinks the same way the material is taught.
Teaching a gay man how to take birth control instead of taking precautionary measures when exposed to HIV and AIDS, such as antivirals, seems like a waste of time.
Teaching a lesbian how to put a condom on a banana would be significantly less useful than advocating for dental dams between partners.
The issue behind abstinence funded programs and sex education in general, is the exclusion of topics pertaining to nonconforming students. Not every child will love the same, feel the same, or want to take part in heterosexual intercourse between cis-male and cis-female.
Call it LGBTQ, questioning, experimenting, or nonconforming- topics on these matters are just as important as the “regular” criteria.
As marriage equality has passed and gender neutrality laws have passed, wouldn’t it make sense to be teaching our children about these ways of life?
I interviewed a person from each high school in town: Normal Community West High School, Normal Community High School, Bloomington High School, University High School, and Central Catholic High School.
That’s five schools, four districts, and over 7,353 students.
Every single person said they had no experience with LGBTQ sex ed. Sexuality was not discussed in the lessons.
Advocates for Youth cited GLSEN, an organization focused on bringing LGBTQ sex information into all classrooms, and mentioned, “The GLSEN 2013 National School Climate Survey found that fewer than five percent of LGBT students had health classes that included positive representations of LGBT-related topics. Among Millennials surveyed in 2015, only 12 percent said their sex education classes covered same-sex relationships.”
Only 12% of students were informed on LGBT relationships in any way. This could mean it was covered in a negative manner.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, multiple states only talk about homosexuality in hopes of prohibiting those lifestyles; “There are eight states that explicitly restrict the teaching of LGBTQ-related content in schools: Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. While some states like Arizona, prohibit instruction that “promotes a homosexual life-style,” others like Alabama, require teachers to “emphasize […] that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.”
In contrast to certain states promoting strictly heterosexuality, a small percentage of students did receive a positive example; “-less than five percent of middle and high school students reported having positive discussions of LGBT-related topics in their health classes.”
These students who do not have access to LGBT inclusive sex ed or are taught to cover those feelings may feel victimized or ignored.
The Human Rights Campaign, an organization that teamed up with multiple companies I have mentioned, cited, “LGBTQ youth reported either not having any sex education in their schools or having limited sex education that was primarily or exclusively focused on heterosexual relationships between cisgender people.” when discussing their experiences with sex education.
I have a lot of friends in the LGBT community, and asked them questions pertaining to how and if any sex ed was inclusive of the LGBT community in their schools.
In an interview with Chloe, an alum of Tri-Valley High School, I asked her to talk to me about her experience with sex education while also figuring out her sexuality.
Chloe: “I wasn’t taught anything. My school didn’t say a word about anything LGBT especially about sex because when I came out I was the only one in the whole school at that point. I was just attracted to girls and when another girl, my first girlfriend, came out it was hell. All my friends dropped me, I had friends and family t
elling me to kill myself, teachers came up to me saying, “this isn’t who you truly are”, and I had a teacher come up to me with a love note I wrote to their son when I was in 6th grade and said that was the real me and how I wanted to be with boys but I was just acting out. When teachers saw me kiss my girlfriend they would yell at me and I saw straight couples practically having sex in the hallway and teachers wouldn’t say a word. I didn’t have any experience or understanding of being gay, I just kinda went for it and turns out I’m super gay haha.”
A student in our local community was not only denied information regarding her sexual preferences, but harassed by teachers and faculty for expressing herself.
Although how horrible this is, Chloe isn’t the only one who experienced these events in their everyday lives. When conducting a poll among LGBT students, Human Rights Campaign found, “students were more likely to hear homophobic remarks from school staff, less likely to report feeling supported by school staff, less likely to receive an effective response to harassment from school staff, and less likely to have LGBTQ resources in schools such as comprehensive anti-harassment/assault policies and Gay-Straight Alliances.”
The perplexing issue of why LGBT sex education is not taught stands out in this generation because, in fact, we are the most open minded generation yet; accepting of multiple sexualities, alike or different.
From polls taken in recent years we are seeing a trend among parents and their wishes for sex education, turns out they are aligning with millennials!
The same campaign, Human Rights Campaign, found that nearly 85% of parents support LGBT inclusive sex ed in high schools and 78% support it amongst middle schoolers.
Even parents are accepting of inclusive sex education says an executive summary conducted by the Human Rights Campaign.
We know the majority of parents are on board, now it’s time to use your opinion for the betterment of education!
You guys, the parents are ultimately the ones in power. Have you ever thought about that? It’s not the government, or the teachers, or the handbooks, it’s you. You put your children in school and in return give the school system profit and students. If you are unhappy with the way things are taught, it’s you who can speak out.
There is no reason all children shouldn’t be able to get the information they need regarding sex and there is absolutely no excuse for a child to get harassed based upon their sexual identity either.