Inclusive Sex Education for Lgbt in Schools
As a person of color and sister of two gay brothers, I have been deeply concerned of the topic of inclusion of all type of minority groups, especially those in the LGBT community. For many years they have been treated as outsiders of societal standards and living with constant fear that they will be next in line to being stoned to death. We hear and see in the news of LGBT individuals who have been physically attacked or killed for who they are. My brother’s live in constant fear, because this is what society has taught them, to ignore their sexual orientation in order to survive. Because if they don’t they aren’t welcomed here. If schools provided sex educators and professional counselors for youth, everyday of the year, in order to provide help and a safe space for those want it, there would be life changing outcomes for members of the LGBT community.
The lack of inclusion that LGBT community face in educational establishments, especially when teaching sexual education, has proven to cause negative and unwelcoming environments towards them. Instead of making laws to avoid speaking about homosexality in schools, there should be laws implemented in order to educate youth about the risks within the heterosexual and homosexual practices such as: sexually transmitted infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and pregnancy. Sex educators have been depriving crucial information from the LGBTQ+ members sexual health as well as portraying their sexual orientation in a negative way. The insufficient education is an important issue that must be address to health and educational programs, in order to provide a safe and comprehensive atmosphere for all youth including those in the LGBT community.
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Sexual education is essential for adolescents, but is different from states to states. There are thousands of uneducated Americans in the United States that don’t know about basic, relationship skills, safer sex practices, and anatomy, because there are laws such as “No promo homo” that forbid teaching of homosexuality. In the United States there are 8 states including: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas, that prohibit the teaching and support of homosexuality. Some religious groups disagree for the inclusive curricular for they believe that it is unnecessary for it should be abstinence only and that these teachings will provoke/influence their children in homosexual activities. But one does not become gay from hearing about it, that is like saying, my gay brother will become straight is he watches T.V shows that mainly show heterosexual couples. It just doesn’t happen. Although research has not been done yet to display the ways inclusive education affects youth it does show positive outcomes in school performance; attendance; and grades as well as reducing the risk behaviours. Leaving out the LGBTQ+ members will also imply that we as a society believe they are less and not worthy of inclusion. That feeling that youth often experience in their homes, schools, and outside settings.
LGBTQ+ youth deserve to learn in school settings that are inclusive of their practices. Studies of 2015 show that, fewer than six percent of LGBT students aged 13–21 reported that their health classes had included positive representations of LGBT-related topics. Fostering LGBT into sex education and prioritizing this issue in school can reduce risk behaviors and support good sexual health among young adults and help learn about their sexual orientation as well as their gender identity. By providing inclusive education it demonstrates positive outcomes on teens sexual health. We all know that having supportive parents and welcoming school that provide supportive learning environments, will make someone happy, help achieve good grades, and maintain good physical and mental health. But what about those who don’t have supportive parents? Or those who don’t have a school that provide safe spaces for minority groups? Many studies show that young adults within the LGBT community are at higher risk of becoming homeless and or committing suicide. One in 30 youth ages between 13 and 17 experienced a form of homelessness over a 12-month period (Jordyn W). According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behaviors Survey, 8.6% of high schoolers had attempted suicide in the last 12 months, and girls attempted at approximately two times the rate of boys and those in the LGBT community were five times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual classmates. LGBT youth have been seen to be at higher risk of becoming homeless and this means they are higher chances of becoming mentally and physically ill for they have little resources or are afraid to seek help. You may be asking yourself, but why are they afraid? Well there are many reasons including, homophobia which can take many forms including but not limited to, insults, discrimination to extreme levels and even violence. This is a serious issue for many are scared to seek help for they believe they will get hurt in the process of that. Studies show that 2 out of 5 victims of homophobic bullying attempted or contemplating suicide. They are scared because there aren’t many federal programs that provide funds in order to reduce the homeless crisis among LGBTQ+ youth, so they feel as if there is no escape and there only solution is taking their own life. But if there were programs that are inclusive towards the community providing shelters and and making sex education available for everyone it will increase the chances of safe choices.
The state of California has implemented laws such as: The FAIR Education act and Healthy Youth Act, the first in the country to not only require sex education in public schools and cover sexual orientation and gender identity, but to also make it mandatory for schools to provide comprehensive lessons that include information on abortion, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. The Healthy Youth Act, promotes the understanding of sexuality as a normal part of human development; and to ensure youth receive integrated, comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased sexual health and HIV prevention instructions. As for the Fair Education act, it is intended to remove all discrimination against minority groups in curriculums. These acts have help the Californian community to become more welcoming to diversity as well as simply being able to coexist with people with other beliefs.
According to Planned Parenthood, only 9 states currently require discussion of LGBT identities and relationships to be inclusive and affirming because its is left up to state and local governments to decide. If all states of the United States were inclusive towards all minority groups there would be a vast change in suicide rates among LGBT members. But legislators have used a variety of strategies to limit access to sex education, promote conservative values, and anti-abortion messages through sex education, and push sex educators out of schools. If we’re able to implement laws that protect and include LGBT community within the school programs in order to educate the youth, they will be able to make healthy choices that includes taking care of their own physical well being as well as their mental state.
All im saying is that if we decide to take action for each state and promote inclusiveness there would be a decrease in suicide rates among LGBT youth for there would be more safe spaces and resources for them to find help. People from Alaska are twice as likely to commit suicide nationwide. There statistics are scary but we can all help, even by starting a safe space club, in which all youth are welcomed and in those clubs one can talk about important issues and life skills in order to improves one’s life style. Talking about sex education as well as simply talking about taxes and other things a teen would have questions about. This would aim for a welcoming and better community. We’ve experience so many hate crimes throughout the years and doing one act to make the new generations life better, it’s definitely worth every effort.