Sex Education for the LGBTQ+ Community

For many students Sex-Ed is a class taken for granted. A class they are forced to take where they are lectured about safe sex. 

But for LGBTQ+(Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual,Transgender,Questioning and ETC) students sex-ed is a class were they are sitting there as both teachers and textbooks fail to appropriately address their identity’s and experiences. As we all know nearly all of sex education courses are based around the experiences of cisgendered(meaning you identify with your given sex.) and  heterosexual(You only love/are sexually attracted to the opposing gender) experiences. This means that it only focuses on women and men having sex and how to prevent pregnancies in these dynamics. This however is extremely exclusive of our LGBTQ+ students.

With only a CisHet(Cisgendered Heterosexual) sexual education LGBTQ+ students are overall ignored. If we do not teach the students about proper queer sex education we are doing far more harm than good as a school district.

 “Sex education can be one of the few sources of reliable information on sexuality and sexual health for youth. Hundreds of studies have shown that well-designed and well-implemented sex education can reduce risk behavior and support positive sexual health outcomes among teens, such as reducing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates.” Advocates for Youth. (2008). Science and Success: Sex Education and Other Programs that Work to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, HIV & Sexually Transmitted Infections. Washington, D.C. And that isn’t just one study’s opinion another study found that 95% of students didn’t have an in depth sex education.

“In this report, we’ve seen the stark reality of SRE in this country and heard saddening stories of how one generation of young people have been exposed to low self-esteem, homophobia, bullying, unhealthy relationships and poor sexual health, as a result of the lack of quality SRE in our schools.” Ian Green chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust foundation says.

We are one of the least accepting school districts in the state and it shows. But this would give us a chance to move forward and be better. By including LGBTQ+ sex education into the curriculum we could as a school district make this town a safer place, and not just for LGBTQ+ students. By educating students that they are valid and that other people are also valid we lower suicide rates,Hate crime rates and bullying rates by a good amount. It is our job as a district to do everything we can to make students feel welcome and by excluding students from something as important as safe sex education because we refuse to acknowledge queer students is doing the exact opposite. So how can we change this moving forward? To get an idea we contacted Mr.Wedgbury the school’s principal. 

All of our courses have a process for determining curriculum, implemented by teaching teams, not individuals, with the guidance from the Iowa Core and state or national standards. Within these standards, our teaching staff breaks down the curriculum into priority standards and essential learnings for instructional purposes, which is a process that has worked for us. We are always looking to make our curriculum more accessible and inclusive for all students but we fall short of pushing specific opinions or preferences with curriculum oversight.  On occasion, we have community members and/or students who share their opinions for consideration during curriculum review processes and we are always open to the feedback. “ this shows a sliver of hope for inclusive education it will just take a little hard work.

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