Eight LGBTQ-related Issues School Curriculums Should Cover

  1. The Difference between Gender and Biological Sex
    • This is a simple difference that, unfortunately, most people aren’t taught. Gender and biological sex are not the same thing. As stated on reachout.com and scienceabc.com, “The difference between sex and gender is that sex is a biological concept based on biological characteristics, whereas gender deals with personal, societal and cultural perceptions of sexuality.” When people think that gender and biological sex are synonyms, it leads them to question why people identify as transgender or nonbinary. When people identify the way they do, it is because that is what makes them most comfortable as a human being, not how they were born. It is a small thing that can really change one’s perspective on why people identify one way or another.
  2. LGBTQ+ Elements of Sex Education
    • Most schools don’t teach students about the different kinds of intercourse that can occur within relationships or how to be safe during those encounters. Most of the time, it is emphasized that abstinence is the only safe method to prevent pregnancy or STIs, while other effective methods are skimmed over. This leads young people to be ignorant of  how two people of the same gender have sex or how people in non-traditional relationships (one person being non-binary, trans, or in a polyamorous relationship, or even if both people are asexual) can even be in a relationship together. This lack of information then leads to misinformation and bad relationship practices later on in life. It also puts LGBTQ+ youth and their partners at higher risk for pregnancy and STIs.
  3. The Existence of Intersex People
    • During biology in public schools, more often than not, it is taught that men have penises and XY chromosomes, while girls have vaginas, and XX chromosomes. The problem is that this is not 100% true. Out of all pregnancies, “1 in 1500” to “1 in 2000” of babies are considered intersex (isna.org). These intersex people could have a different combination of chromosomes or genitalia than what is considered normal. Due to erasure within this community, intersex identities are often overlooked. This alienates people who are intersex and leads the general population and even part of the LGBTQ+ to be blind to the intersex community.
  4. The Existence of Nonbinary Gender Identities
    • Most kids are raised to believe that you can only be a boy or girl, when in reality, possible identities are widely varied. In addition to male or female, many individuals identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, agender, androgyne, bigender, pangender, etc. If a child feels that they don’t fit into the gender binary, they should be aware of the different identities that they are able to choose from. This would alleviate the stress of feeling the need to fit into either a male or female identity in order to be accepted by society.
  5. The Spectrum of Human Sexuality  
    • Similar to gender, schools should teach students that it is okay not to be heterosexual. There are many different ways to identify, if you care to put a label on yourself at all. However, because kids are raised to alienate people who are atypical, children choose to stay in the closet as to not stand out from the crowd. Stopbullying.gov shows that, “34% of lesbian, gay and bisexual students were bullied on school property, 28% of lesbian, gay and bisexual students were electronically bullied, and 13% of lesbian, gay and bisexual students did not go to school because of safety concerns,” (Stopbullying.gov). Exposing children to diverse perspectives and identities from an early age would decrease the amount of harassment LGBTQ+ people face because people would grow up knowing that it is completely fine to identify differently from one another. Additionally, introducing students to the range of identities that exist and the characteristics that make each unique would lead to less erasure of certain identities and help students figure out how they identify for themselves.
  6. How to Support LGBTQ+ People
    • Schools should have some way of teaching their student body how to support LGBTQ+ students. Some of the most important ways to support LGBTQ+ people is to use their preferred pronouns, avoid derogatory names or words, see them for their personality instead of their gender or sexual orientation, and overall be a kind and understanding person. You won’t know everything related to being LGBTQ+, but you must be willing to learn and grow from your mistakes.
  7. Why Micro-Aggressions are Hurtful
    • We have all heard people say things like, “That’s gay”, and “No homo” some time in their lifetime. Not only is it harmful to the person who it’s directed at, but it is also harmful to society because it creates this notion that not being straight is a bad thing. This makes it much more difficult for LGBTQ+ people to come out of the closet as it reinforces the idea that being LGBTQ+ is inherently bad and something to be ashamed of. If schools suggested that their students to use a different vocabulary, it would suggest a nicer and more accepting environment for everybody.
  8. The History of the Stonewall Riots
    • Considered the starting point of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States, the Stonewall Riots are very important in the history of America and other Western countries. Because of how curriculum varies from district to district, various historic events are left out. However, it shouldn’t be up to any district to determine whether or not students are to be taught about an important moment in history, especially the history of LGBTQ+ rights. Civil rights movements are an important part of United States history as they played a major role in shaping society to the form it takes today, and it would be beneficial if this material was taught across the country so that people aren’t left in dark on why fighting for LGBTQ+ rights is important.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s