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Silence on Gays and Lesbians in Social Studies Curriculum
Transcript of Silence on Gays and Lesbians in Social Studies Curriculum
by Stephen J Thornton
Despite Growth in social, political, legal and media presence few discuss gays or lesbians in social material
Using "Mainstream" Benchmarks
which group differences are measured creates:
"We - They"
Belief that the archetypical human is straight
A 2003 article from Social Education, Vol. 67, No. 4, pp 226 - 230
Stephen J Thornton
Has moved away from
"American = Protestant/Christian"
Millions of gay inhabitants past and present never existed.
Least educated most likely prejudice against gays.
Paints inaccurate picture of social life
Sometimes harassment and physical violence
Equally applies to the study of homosexuals.
"...should be used to help students learn that all human beings have common needs and characteristics, although the ways in which these traits are manifested frequently differ cross-culturally."
In teaching material K-12 Social Studies unless:
Children are raised in limited number of locales
Teachers go beyond the textbook
They graduate none the wiser
Same sex marriage
Same sex parents
Taunting and physical violence
President Clinton's "don't ask don't tell" policy
Legal discrimination against gays and lesbians in the U.S. armed forces
Some rights selectively available depending on sexual orientation
James Baldwin postwar novelist *African American and homosexual
Alexander the Great military genius *homosexual
Jane Addams one of the nation's greatest social and educational thinkers and activist *long-time special relationship with one woman
Current Curriculum Limitations
Gender and Sexual Equality
Issues During This Time
One of the most successful exercises that schools perform
Controls the boundaries of sex role behavior by choice or neglect
Teachers and administrators are not being neutral or indifferent when they ignore hidden curriculum
Stephen J Thornton
If educators perpetuate heteronormativity most young people will continue to learn about homosexuality through a popular prejudiced lens
To be inclusive educators must include gay material in the curriculum.
"Student sexual diversity guidelines for teachers"
Explicit teacher training on sensitivity to inclusion
By: Gwendolyn Arrington