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LGBT Sexual Diversity Education

Updated/Revised Date: 17th Jul 2022
Author: Sexual Diversity | Contact:
Additional References: Education and LGBT Publications

Synopsis: Information and fact sheets regarding sexual diversity in education including teachings and sexual orientation topics.


LGBT Sex Education

LGBT sex education addresses prominent sexual health topics. Within schools, topics on LGBT sexual health are usually integrated into the general sex education courses. There is debate about whether LGBT sex education should be included in sex education curricula. Advocates of LGBT sex education say the inclusion of LGBT issues into sex education programs would reduce homophobic bullying, improve the health of LGBT people, and decrease instances of problems common in LGBT students, such as depression and low self-esteem; opponents argue that LGBT sex education programs would force a political point of view on students, misuse tax money, and disrespect religious values.

Main Section

Many governments fail to see the need to give specific attention to sexual diversity in education. Some may deny human rights to DESPOGI (Disadvantaged because of their Expression of Sexual Preference Or Gender Identity) or argue that DESPOGI young people are often not yet aware of their feelings or are not supposed to engage in sexual relationships yet. Or, in other cases, they deem discussing same-sex relationships too "controversial."

One prejudice about sexual diversity is that discussing same-sex sexuality in schools is inappropriate. It may be useful to clarify to authorities that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in schools commonly does not contain visual information or discussion about sexual acts. It focuses more on stereotyped images and prejudices about gender and relationships and on processes of social exclusion and bullying that are endemic in adolescence and school institutions and which are hurtful to everyone

Homophobic language is commonplace in many schools, and in many countries, the term "gay" is used by students (in both primary and secondary school settings) as an insult. For example, a UK study reported that 95% of secondary school teachers and three-quarters of primary school teachers had heard the phrases "that's so gay" or "you're so gay" used this way. The same study also reported that 90% of secondary teachers and more than 40% of primary school teachers described homophobic bullying, name- calling or harassment in their schools, irrespective of their sexual orientation, and secondary school teachers identified homophobic bullying as the second most frequent form of bullying (after abuse relating to weight).

In a US study, 57% of respondents reported that homophobic comments were made by school staff. In another study, a third of gay and lesbian respondents reported harassment via text messaging or the internet. For some, the experience of bullying is exacerbated by rejection from family members.

Since 1998, Education International has worked for the rights of its gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members. It is now working with its partners and member organizations on formulating recommendations and policies on the subject. In 1998, the EI World Congress passed a resolution on the "Protection of the rights of lesbian and gay education personnel." The resolution required the application and evaluation of GLBT rights among member organizations. Within its policy on Equality, the Committee on Equality within the EI Pan European Structure put the defense of LGBT rights on its plan in 2001. Since 2004, EI and the Public Services International (PSI) set up an EI-PSI LGBT Forum (made up of representatives from affiliates of the two organizations), which serves as a consultative body to the Executive Boards of both EI and PSI.

Experiences of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) youth at school

What can be done in schools to cater to sexual diversity?

Within the classroom in teaching and learning activities:

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1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

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• (APA): (2022, July 17). LGBT Sexual Diversity Education. Retrieved May 19, 2024 from

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