The Exclusion of Homosexuality in the Classroom

3060 WordsJun 20, 201813 Pages
Current social attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) community can be seen as a significant contributor to the equity, or lack thereof, of the sexual education syllabus in schools. The range of topics covered in regard to homosexuality varies greatly between and within Australia and the United States of America (Bell, 2008, 2). This variance in service provisions can be attributed to differing social attitudes, specifically those held by parents, teachers, students and policy-makers. These social attitudes directly impact the equity of a schools sexual education program. Further, while social attitudes shape education provision they are also shaped by education. With statistics showing that the…show more content…
‘Talking Sexual Health,’ further, includes units about drugs, sex, and health, knowledge and action, addressing diversity, and exploring power dimensions in sexual relationships (Bell, 2003, 2). The success of the program is clear, not only in the increasing acceptance of GLBTI people in Australia, but for the student population as a whole. Compared to the United States, Australian Teenagers have significantly higher levels of sexual health according to many measures. The birth rate for teen’s ages 15-19 in Australia is 40.5 per 1000, significantly less than the rate for US teens (112.4 per 1000). Australian teens ages 15-19 have an abortion rate of 3.9 per 1000, compared to 30.2 per 1000 for US teens. Ninety percent of Australian males and ninety-five percent of Australian females report having used contraception the first time they had intercourse (Bell, 2003, 2-3). Thus, while much of the sexual health of Australian teens can, in part, be attributed to the openness of parent’s and society, it is clear that the Australian ‘Talking Sexual Health’ syllabus is beneficial not only to GLBTI students, but to Australian youth in general. Changing social attitudes in Australia has been claimed as a significant factor in the increased push within school to promote an inclusive sexual education curriculum (Bell, 2008, 2). Despite this emphasis on diversity heterosexual youths remain far more likely to see their sexuality as
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