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ERIC Number: EJ841221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
ISSN: ISSN-1541-0889
Researching LGB Youth in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Richardson, Eric M.
Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education, v3 n2-3 p135-140 2006
Very few large-scale research projects involving lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth have taken place in South Africa. However, there have been several important small-scale studies. One of the major obstacles that researchers of LGB youth encounter in South Africa is the lack of access to these adolescents. There are no national networks for social justice educators committed to challenging homophobia and heterosexism in schools. Further, there are no educational policies requiring that schools become "safe places" for LGB youth or that teacher education or the school curriculum addresses issues relating to sexual diversity. The author suggests that researchers seeking access to youth in communities headed by men and women suspicious of "the gay and lesbian cause" must find ways to articulate why such research is valid and necessary. In addition to adopting a culturally sensitive approach when conducting research, future research should focus less on the homophobia and wounding experienced by LGB youth, and more on the ways in which those who self-identify as LGB actively negate the effects of homophobia and heterosexism, overcome their problems, and have fun. South African researchers also need to investigate how schools can become safer and just for youth who embrace a diversity of masculinities and feminities. Using the case study approach, teacher educators could work with particular schools and teachers. They could introduce the teachers to anti-oppressive teaching strategies which they could then use in their own classrooms over a period of time. Researchers could then evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies, resulting in recommendations which could inform discussions about school policies, practices, and curriculum which protect and affirm the rights of LGB youth of all races or cultures. Such research--which is not currently the focus of mainstream education debates--would require the support and commitment of the whole school involved in the case study, as well as the relevant education department. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa