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Chapter 7

SOCIOL 3U03 Chapter 7: Chapter 7

Course Code
Tina Fetner

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Chapter 7
Schools, sexuality, and social control
- Schools are conservative institutions particularly when you think of sexuality-related
o Not only were pregnant teachers not allowed to work before 1973, but pregnant
students weren’t allowed to go to school until 1972
- Dress codes reinforce msgs about sexuality and the sexual double standard
o Girls: not showing mid-drift sexuality
Seen as problematic and distracting for boys
o Boy: sagging pants trends
- Leaves LGBTQ students and teacher struggling for acceptance and acknowledgement
- Children are thought of as innocent an asexual schools protect that innocence
o By junior high and high school, this changes to contained an out of control
sexuality within student body
Why they resist allowing gay student organization son campus, hesitant to
accept gay teachers, or refuse to include sexuality as a part of healthy
sexual expression
But due to bullying they are forced to
Coming out in school
- Inds are coming out younger than in previous eras
o Avg age as 14-16 similar for transgender youth
o Youth and their needs really did not become an issue for schools until the 90s
Two decades ago they were coming out in middle age
- Difficult due to threat of violence and harassment in schools also know no supportive
places to turn for guidance
o Youth who face family rejection is 8x more likely to attempt suicide and greater
risk of depression
‘it gets better campaign’
LGBTQ Students Experiences of Harassment in Schools
- Most schools in the country are hostile places for sexual minority students
o Avoid certain school spaces bc they feel unsafe and uncomfortable
- Face alarming rates of harassment, violence, and bullying: aggressive behavior directed at
a classmate who is perceived to have less power
o Exposed to homo/transphobic remarks from students, faculty, and staff
- Occurs at all levels of schooling, usually directed at gender non-conforming students
o Verbal insults start in elementary school even if they don’t know what it means
o Increases dramatically in middle school, junior high, and high school
Most verbal harassments qualify as sexual harassment
Lesbian are more likely to be sexually harassed through name
calling or being touched or grabbed in a sexual way
55% of students feel unsafe due to orientation
37% feel unsafe due to gender expression
- Cyberbullying: refers to using electronic media to intentionally and aggressively harass
someone disproportionately affects LGBTQ youth

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o 94% of inds are online, 63% do daily
o Little research on cyberbullying bc it is so new but victims are more likely to
develop depression than other bullying victims
o Disruptive to education
Impact of harassment
- Manifests higher dropout rates, poorer academic performance, higher rates of
depression, increased risk of PTSD and substance abuse, and more absenteeism
o More attempts of suicide
o Half as likely to pursue secondary education or attend college than a national
o Stress related to victimisation and isolation
o More likely to engage in risky and unprotected sexual behaviours increasing
rates of STDs
o Do not report harassment bc they feel nothing will happen or they might make
the situation worst
Transgender students experiences of harassment
- Experience similar harassment as LGB students but unique due to their unique position
o Schools are gender segregated resulting in dilemmas for nonconforming students
locker rooms, washrooms
Slow to adapt to needs
o Feel less safe than cis gender LGB students
- First reported law suit against a school for discriminating against a transgender student
was in 2000
o 15 year old began wearing women’s clothes and makeup in seventh great
During 8th grade she was required to report to her principal everyday so
he could decide if what she was wearing was appropriate
If to feminine she had to go home and change
Court decided she had been discriminated against bc she is allowed to
fully express her self identified gender
Forcing her to ear male clothing would stifle her selfhood bc it
causes inds discomfort
Supported by first amendment
- Have unique privacy concerns
o Whether or not they choose to be out is questioned
If not living gender at birth, do they have a right to keep this information
to themselves, or is it a form of deception??
Transitioning kids often change schools in order to start over w their new
ID at a new school
Presenting as one gender but still have physical and bio body of
the other bc they are too young for reassignment surgery and
hormone treatments
o Have one medical option at their disposal
Hormone blockers pause the onset of puberty

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Present as one sex without experiencing bodily changes and not
making permanent changes that medical hormones result in
- School personnel need to be aware of stressors experienced in homes that affect their
performance in school
o Face intense opposition from parents, familys, friends
o Amon the most misunderstood of any ID group in existence today
- More likely to be involved in substance abuse, running away, homelessness, and
prostitution than their cisgender peers
Creating safe schools
- Range of solutions incorporated to help make schools safer
o Est high schools specifically for LGBTQ
o LGBTQ inclusive curriculum, creating support organizations such as gay straight
alliances (GSA)
o Anti-bulllying programs
o Challenging institutionalization of heterosexuality
Gay friendly schools
- NY Harvey Milk High school public
o First opened in 1985 and became accredited in 2002
o 80% are black or latino from some of the poorest parts of NY
Some of the most at-risk kids in the city
o Bullied out of their other schools
- Problematic
o Not a solution for everyone
Only 3 in the states not accessible
Couldn’t house all LGBTQ students
School districts unlike to entertain the idea of opening a school from cost
concerns to fear of backlash
o Segregating gay students from straight students
Does not solve homophobia, just protects them for it in school
Bullies are the ones who need to change their behaviours, not LGBTQ
Reflecting era of separate but equal
o Defenders say they should not endure this treatment
Cop out
Instead of training teachers, monitoring classrooms, punishing
prejudicial students for homophobic harassment and violence
o Less successful at addressing other types of marginalization such as race, class,
and gender
Racial minority students don’t experience it as a safe space for them
Transgenderism is invisible
- Opposition to Harvey Milk high school is a lawsuit asking for return of money on the basis
that it is a waste of money
Queering the curriculum
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