THE IMPORTANCE OF QUEER SEX ED FOR EVERYONE
School’s in session, so let us direct your attention to the front of the class. What is sex education? For the most part, sex ed relies heavily on teaching young people how to go about putting on a condom, safe sexual practices, puberty, and body image (to name a few topics). In modern times, we’ve seen more of a call to action for LGBTQ education in schools due to the fact that everyone deserves to have an inclusive learning experience and see themselves represented in the curriculum.
Sexual education in Canada has pointed to discussions of sexual orientation, consent, gender identity, and other topics that are integral to a well-rounded learning experience. In this way, sex ed has shifted and warmed up to other areas of sexual studies but not without its controversy and pushback. Because of this, young people are frequently getting their sexual education through social media. If Canada wants to invite everyone to the table, then we must make sure there’s a seat for every student and continue the conversation.
Let’s dive deeper into how sexual education in schools can do better to broaden the horizon on queer studies, how online conversations contribute to the discourse, and what LGBTQ+ young people deserve in terms of support. When everyone’s considered in the lesson plan, nothing feels better.
1. Planning For Sexual Education In Canada
It’s no secret that sexual education in schools is a much debated hot topic for educators, policy-makers, students, and parents alike. Whether it be elementary, high school, or post-secondary education, there’s ongoing discussions on how to go about teaching a satisfactory and mandatory lesson on sex. Evidently, it's become quite the political debate on how to meet the expectations in our society around sex based topics.
Politics aside, everyone should be given fair and inclusive treatment in respect to sex-ed. This includes LGBTQ+ individuals who have struggled for years with identifying themselves across province lesson plans. However, we have plans to raise our hand and help break this down into a forward-thinking treatment. Let’s go.
2. Why Queer Sex Ed Is Important
Sexual health is still very much stigmatized, and even more so when it comes to queerness. Oftentimes, LGBTQ+ students feel excluded from the dialogues formed by sexual education. It’s important to connect with those identities who have been culturally and historically disregarded or not taken seriously because everyone’s valid and should be entitled to safe sex practices. When navigating health and sexuality, it should be top of mind to count for more comprehensive learnings that encompass all beings. It’s the right thing to do.
3. Benefits Of Sex-Positive LGBTQ Education In Schools
Including a sex-positive, judgement-free, and all-inclusive education benefits everyone in attendance because:
- It creates conversation and makes room for different perspectives, making everyone feel informed, seen, and heard
- It makes sure all individuals understand safe-sex practices that they can see themselves in, and emphasize with the stories and situations of their peers
- It opens the door to acceptance and allyship by placing every student on an equal level playing field instead of pandering to segregation or falling into divisive tactics
For more glass half full content, learn What Is Sex Positivity? The Benefits Of Having A Sex Positive Life and receive a sexy history lesson.
4. How To Create More Inclusivity In Classrooms
After understanding the benefits of a well-rounded sexual education, let’s go over a few action plans that teachers, peers, speakers, sex educators, and lesson planners can take into effect:
- Speak in an inclusive language - greater sexual education in schools starts with what you say to others. It’s crucial to make sure you refer to everyone without gender or sexuality bias and work to make all feel welcome.
- Look towards additional resources and tools that provide you access to a range of LGBTQ+ materials (podcasts, reviewed journals, written accounts, etc.) - this can offer you more guidance on how to bring up discussions that better support students/peers
- Build strategies surrounding queer cultural understanding, highlight specific historical figures that have paved the way for the LGBTQ+ community, and show up for people who require an extra voice
- In addition to that, speak up when other students or colleagues use hurtful language that directly or indirectly targets queer individuals (change can only happen when you take the stand)
- Introduce sex ed topics that make sense for everyone to participate in - reject the notion that safe sex is a primarily heterosexual focused deliberation
With safe sex in mind, you might want to take a look at Do Condoms Prevent STDs? for more lesson-building information and thought-starters for a greater conversation.
5. Online Sexual Education For Youth
Because sexual education in schools, even in Canada, varies country-wide and can feel limited in its approach, young people (including teens) are turning to social media platforms to gain insight on sexual health topics and questions. It was reported that 62% of Canadians aged 18-24 search for online information about “sexual and reproductive health, sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity” as discovered by a LetsStopAIDS survey, and 21% go to social media. This isn’t surprising in our world where online platforms create a sense of belonging by nesting and nurturing people of multiple niches.
This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but individuals seeking additional sexual information should seek trusted knowledge in verified accounts while using critical thinking skills of what they digitally digest. Afterall, anyone can make a video about anything, fact or fiction, and gain a substantial following from their personal statements. It’s a solid idea to look within our Sexpert: Sex Advice & Tips page which helps normalize sex talk and stay informed on all areas of inclusion. From first-time advice to more experienced articles, we got you.
Speaking of first-times, read Sex With A New Partner: Get Over The First Time Nerves if you’re entering a new sexual relationship and seek some additional guidance.
6. A Sex Educator’s Parting Words
Yeah, we like to think of ourselves as a safe sex teacher of sorts. So, for your final piece of advice before the imaginary bell rings, we encourage you to continue facilitating an environment that supports all individuals. It’s best to live a life fully sex educated and completely covered in wisdom (as it never hurts to study some more).
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