ERIC Number: EJ1081137
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
"A Lot More to Learn than Where Babies Come From": Controversy, Language and Agenda Setting in the Framing of School-Based Sexuality Education Curricula in Australia
Shannon, Barrie; Smith, Stephen J.
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, v15 n6 p641-654 2015
Sexuality education in Australian schools continues to struggle in its ability and willingness to address many of the broader social issues associated with sexuality, such as the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) students. Studies involving teachers have demonstrated that a reticence on their part to teach GLBTIQ-inclusive sexuality education is driven by a lack of training in handling "sensitive" issues, a fear of backlash and confusion over their obligations under relevant departmental policies. This reticence may, in part at least, stem from a commonly held inference that the inclusion of queer sexualities is inherently "controversial". There appears to be a tendency for curricula and government directives to "juggle" principles of social justice for marginalised sexualities with "risk management" policies, which seek to screen course content for potential "controversy". Much of this controversy has its roots in the language and rhetoric used to describe and discuss issues dealt within sexuality education curricula. The paper demonstrates, through the process of "languaging", how the language and rhetoric of controversy and sexuality can be exposed so that they may be better addressed through policy and government directives.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Sex Education, Homosexuality, Sexual Identity, Sexual Orientation, Curriculum, Social Attitudes, Language Usage, Educational Policy, Sexuality, High School Students, Faculty Development
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia