Sector Summary Report on improving sex and relationships education (Wednesday, December 7th, 2005)

Published by Ian in CHAPS at 8:13 pm. Skip down to comments or read the others.

When I did a search for 'bisexual' on the THT website, forty or so local 'and bisexual' groups come up along with things like the brand new Sector Summary Report on improving sex and relationships education (SRE). There's no specific section on bisexual issues and most of the sections "for gay men" don't appear either.

So, this SRE Education Sector Summary Report. I agree entirely with the basic idea – that SRE needs to be improved and represent the true diversity of lives pupils will lead.

But…

The first sentence talks about "lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) pupils." The second only talks about "gay issues". 'LGB' is the same length as 'gay', why not use that? (And why ignore trans issues throughout?)

But it's clearly systemic: paragraphs three and five have "the needs of gay pupils". Paragraph six has "gay teenagers", while paragraph seven goes back to "gay pupils".

The first paragraph on page two says "LGB pupils" for only the second time, before talking – probably not aware of the irony – of "tokenism" in the next.

The same page has "homosexuality" twice and talks about "lesbian and gay pupils" once, reminding us that 'gay' is not being seen as inclusive of other orientations.

Page three has "lesbian, gay and bisexual" and "LGB" twice but then goes on to talk only of "lesbian and gay writers" and "lesbian and gay figures" as worthy of inclusion in lessons.

The last page says THT's work for LGB people is wonderful, but then uses the author's ygm.org.uk site as the example. (See the next post for why this was unfortunate.)

The conclusion goes back to bisexual invisibility:

we hope that this report will enable teachers to think more about issues around lesbian and gay sexuality throughout the curriculum. [..] All young people have the right to learn about the society they live in. Gay people are part of that society, whether as adults or young people. When schools ignore the needs of lesbian and gay pupils [..]

As a former bisexual pupil, I feel ignored by this.

Here's the link to the original. I'll do one with some unofficial highlighting soon.

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