Adressing sexual orientation

Adressing sexual orientation


Education on Sexual Orientation

The issue of Sexual Education is extremely crucial if we want to locate society's endemic problem with how to address sexual orientation properly. 

Even though we have come as far as addressing homophobia as a social disease, the symptoms still linger in different avenues. Most significantly, they seem to be prevalent when we consider children in Elementary Schools, and students in High Schools. These are the institutions where derogatory and discriminatory language is usually learned, from children who create defense mechanisms as a response to the void that is their lack of sexual education. It is no wonder that minors are confused and uncomfortable when they first discover that there are other acceptable combinations that exist for romantic relationships.

The key concepts that the Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Education address are: Health, Health Promotion, Health Education, Sexual Health & Education, Sexuality and Sexual Rights. According to the guidelines for Sexual Health in Canada, "Sexual Health is a key aspect of personal health and social welfare that influences individuals across their lifespan (2)." These guidelines are designed to:

1. Help professionals who are concerned with the development and implementation of sexual health programs.

2. Provide a detailed framework for evaluating existing sexual health education programs.

3. To offer educators a broader understanding of the goals and objectives of broadly based sexual education.

However, when we take a closer look, these curriculums barely cover the controversial issues such as sexuality and sexual rights. If these quidelines are designed to help shape social welfare, then a more in depth curriculum must be implemented. Topics such as queer theory, sexual orientation and LGBT rights should be addressed in depth, in order to prevent students from ostracizing individuals who are gay, bisexual or have parents who are either. Teachers are tip-toeing around these topics to protect themselves from the angry parents of sheltered children. It is a huge problem, especially for public schools who have a blend of students from varrying backrounds.

1966 was the first time that education officials in Canada drafted a grade 9 course discussing the reproduction system. Since then, the developpment of the Sexual Education programs across America have continuously broadened. Major changes were made in Ontario school boards with regards to sexual education in 2010. This new explicit curriculum consists of a more detailed version of the previous one. For example, terms such as 'vaginal lubrication' and 'anal penetration' have been introduced to the curriculums for grade 6 and 7 students. According to Howlett and Hammer, writers of Ontario to Introduce more explicit sex education in schools, published in the Globe and Mail, some parents with religious backgrounds threatened to pull their students out of school as a response to this 'higher education.' Many parents believe that more explicit sexual issues should only be dealt with between families, in the comfort of their own home.

The Ideal System

In reality though, these issues are going to be gossiped about amongst students, whether it is in the class room, or in the school yard. Having said that; it would benefit parents, students and teachers if such topics were learned in a controlled and appropriate manner. The truth of the matter is, we have no control over what happens outside of the classroom, and in order to ensure that the students are not malinformed, unaware, or embarassed about the inevitable discussion of sexuality, we should provide it for them. 

 "Critics said topics such as homosexuality are best left to parents to discuss with their children."

 There will always be objections to these changes but we have to consider reality, which is that our society is constantly changing and so should our education system. Prejudices only surface when discrimination is emplaced, and when that happens our marginal society forces people to feel like they are on the outside and out of the norm.

This crual education should be taken far more seriously than it currently is. Most schools have an anonymous question method where students are asked to write any questions that they have on a piece of paper, and these questions are addressed in class. Leaving it to the students is just an easy way out. In fact, most students take this opportunity to be innappropriate and ask outlandish questions. THIS is where problems start. Instead, teachers should be laying out the taboo topics from the beginning, to ensure students are not confused or shocked when it get's brought up by another student in class. 

Some believe that the issue of Sexual Education, is one to be addressed at home between families, others want nothing to do with the topic and expect teachers to handle it. What is important to remember is that all family situations are different, and many people are not blessed with healthy relationships when they go home.

The Real System

Image source: Google

As long as there is prejudice against LGBT, there will be prejudices against BDSM. In order to conquer this social disease, we must start from the very beginning. Instead of sheletering children from what they will inevitably figure out on their own, we should embrace these taboo subjects and make them just as much a part of our educational system as fitness, or health. "If repression has indeed been the fundamental link between the power, knowledge and sexuality since the classical age, it stands to reason, that we will not be able to free ourselves from it except at a considerable cause, " as famously stated by late philosopher and social theorist Michael Foucault. Perhaps, Foucault had it right and repression is the main lingering symptom to what we now call a social disease. The only way we can find out is by treating the symptom properly.


Works Cited    

Isabel, María. Villanueva, Martinó. The Social Construction of Sexuality: Personal Meanings, Perceptions of Sexual Experience,and Females' Sexuality in Puerto Rico. Blacksburg, Virginia. 1997.

 Hammer, Kate. Howlett, Karen. Ontario to introduce more explicit sex education in schools. The Globe and Mail.

McKay, Alexander. Sexual health education in the schools: Questions & Answers. (2005)

The Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education

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