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Sex education, homophobia and hate

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Calf, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Calf

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    I was reading an article yesterday about LGBT sex ed' in schools which got me thinking about my own experience. The message I got was from a single lesson watching a film where two guys developed a relationship and decided to run away together. Eventually one of the guys realised that it was 'just a phase' and 'chose' to go back to being straight. The other guy was left broken and devastated in tears, lonely and outcast. Whatever the intention, showing that film in school only reinforced the view that gay is wrong and is ultimately a choice that will lead to a lot of unhappiness.

    With no other source of education I started to wonder, why was I so convinced that it wasn't wrong. Somehow I knew that there was a chance of a normal happy life, that other people were the same as me but it certainly wasn't from my teachers or parents etc.

    That's when I realised that the way I found out, the way I knew there was a gay world out there somewhere, was from homophobia, hate and bullying. When other kids teased each other about being gay, that told me that even though people didn't like it, being gay was something that existed. When I saw another kid being accused of being gay, whether they were or not, it made me believe that there were others like me, somewhere.

    Twenty years ago I learned nearly all I knew about my sexuality and who I was from homophobia and hate. What's that about?
    In my mind I managed to turn all that into a message of hope and self acceptance but laced with a homophobic undertone. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels this way but what I really can't understand is why twenty years on it's still a reality for most kids. Sex education doesn't appear to have changed and it's just not acceptable.

    Anyway, I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this but thought I'd share and open up the discussion.

    What are your experiences or views of sex ed'?
    How did you first find out that you weren't the only one in the world?
    If you're at school now, what's the message you're getting?
     
  2. 3n

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    The sex ed program in my school was not homophobic (though obviously being geared for straight people), but the instructor was. The teacher was answering questions (we put notes in a box and he answered the notes), when homosexuality and whether it was right or wrong came up. He ended up going on a full-on rant for the next 20 minutes about how it's an abomination to God, and how gays are disturbed, etc etc

    This was when I was thirteen and trying to come out, but I was scared obviously. This, ultimately just made it worse lol
     
  3. Quantumreality

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    At least you got a film about a Gay relationship, Calf. When I grew up, homosexuality was really only mentioned once - to define it and for the SexEd teacher to tell us that a minority of people were sexually attracted to people of the same sex. Then, she went on to explain that the "normal" orientation was heterosexuality and defined it. It wasn't QUITE a homophobic statement, but... And heaven forbid they talk about Bisexuality. Bisexuality was a "myth," so it didn't need to be addressed in SexEd.:icon_sad:
     
  4. Raziel00

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    At my school Sex Ed was only about heterosexual sex. Homosexual sex was never brought up. I remember that when kids were asking questions any pertaining to gay/lesbian sex were ignored.
     
  5. Kira

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    Preeeeetty much. I didn't know if it was like that outside of "Jesusland" or what.
     
  6. shootingstar

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    I had numerous sex ed classes throughout school and homosexuality was never ever mentioned, it was just treated like it didn't exist I guess.
     
  7. CJliving

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    I don't remember ever hearing about homosexuality in sex ed in school ever.

    Thank god, my 'introduction' to the existance of gay people was my sister's best friend's mom and her Joanie. My parents, despite being Christians of the it's-a-sin variety, decided that telling their kids not to play with another child or not to go to their house was wrong and mean. So I grew up without it ever being addressed, it was just normal. Two women, living together, raising a family, was just like my family.

    When it finally did come out (ha!), it was a girl at school saying "lesbian" about them, like a bad thing, and me getting very upset about it. I told my mom and she told me "lesbian" is exactly what they were, and that her and dad didn't agree with their lifestyle. Even told me my dad had been kicked off the Deacon's Board at church for letting us play over there. I was 11, it didn't make sense to me then, makes even less sense now.

    Ontario's recently [passed? proposed?] a new sex ed. curriculm that starts in 1st grade (with consent, bad touch, stranger danger, etc.) and progresses in years to include masterbation, gender identity, homosexuality, anal sex, and, I think?, asexuality. Which is pretty fucking fantastic! :grin:
     
    #7 CJliving, Sep 17, 2016
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  8. Quem

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    They skipped over homosexuality at my high school for some reason (I think it was not part of the examination program and thus not interesting for the teachers, or there was some other reason I was not aware of). Sexual education was limited to heterosexuality.

    As other have said, homosexuality was treated as if it didn't exist. If I'm correct, homosexuality was only mentioned a few times in religion/philosophy class (it was about both philosophy and various religions).
     
  9. I'm_Danni_x

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    The sex education in my school didn't promote or value any sexuality over another. Vaginal, oral and anal sex was listed and how we should protect against pregnancies and STIs.
     
  10. Reciprocal

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    Our "sex education" didn't just ignore straight sex, it pretty much ignored all sex. Instead, we were shown a video of a horse giving birth and told about childbirth and adoption.

    I've found some of the stuff we've done in PSHE to be more useful. We actually spoke about LGBT people and I think our teacher approached the subject well, with a bit of humour.
     
  11. Libra Neko

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    I doubt it was ever covered when I took sex ed 25 years ago. There was definitely homophobia amongst my classmates though.
     
  12. Goldensun

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    Back when I was a kid, no one ever talked about anything to do with sex. Sex education was part of science in ninth grade. We kept mice in the classroom, obviously to learn about mammalian reproduction. But the mice must've "done it" outside of classtime and also gave birth when no one was around. So we learned nothing about how babies are made. I also remember the teacher just reading from a text book and we had a booklet with questions to fill in as she read along. I learned so little that I failed the test because I answered the question "What happens when a boy reaches puberty?" with "they get hair on their legs, under their arms and between their legs" or something like that. Easy to laugh now but it took me a couple of years or more of intense guilt before I even knew that the thing I fought against doing in bed was called masturbating and that it was normal. Australia was so prude in the 1980s that I didn't even think of asking my friends if they did it. I am convinced that this approach was very harmful to kids. Homosexuality wasn't even mentioned and I had no idea what it was until I was about fifteen or so. And so this didn't help me to understand or accept the feelings and emotions I was beginning to experience. It makes me very angry to think back to this time in my life and see how kids were deliberately kept ignorant or left to find out things on their own.
     
  13. Canterpiece

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    We did sex ed at secondary, and a bit at College too. At Secondary, they had the typical “wait until marriage or stay a virgin” mindset. Our sex education was taught by one of my old science teachers who was homophobic, so yeah…I bet you can guess how that one went. We did about male/female penetration, contraception, and about how we shouldn’t sleep around and the importance of waiting until marriage.

    A guy in our class asked about gay relationships, but he was just laughed at and the teacher asked “why…are you gay?” in a rather mocking tone whilst chuckling to himself. The rest of the class laughed, and the guy slumped down in his chair looking embarrassed. I don’t know if he was or not, but people kept making remarks and accusing him of being so- trying to make him embarrassed/annoyed.

    He finally answered that guy’s question at the end of the lesson with “Well if you can help it, just don’t have gay sex. Because gay sex is pointless”.

    At one point in sex ed, we got given these sheets with character information on and a bottle of chemical solution. We had to mix the chemical with certain other chemicals (which were other characters) and although there wasn’t meant to be any mixing of female solutions with other female solutions (and likewise with male) our group rebelled a bit and did just that.

    The idea of the exercise was to show the dangers of sleeping around (if “infected” the solution was meant to go either orange or red depending on how bad the infection was, and a more neutral colour like green if there was no infection) but since we didn’t follow the sheet and went a bit off-course, if came up this really weird colour because we’d mixed it with other characters of the same gender so some of them came up clean/negative even if they’d had unprotected sex with all of the characters of the same sex.

    We got in trouble since they told us directly not to do this, but it was too tempting. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

    Anyway, in College we had a very brief sex ed session. They gave us this quiz about male/female penetration, and went into very detailed specifics with it. We had to label things using rather specific terms and explain what happens at every stage of the male penetrating. I was so tempted to say “well, if I wasn’t gay before…” but I resisted the urge. :icon_wink :grin:

    We only ever did about male/female penetration and waiting until marriage in sex ed, and never did about any other types of practices. However, the whole waiting until marriage thing seems to have mainly been ignored, as most of the people I knew in that class are now pregnant and aren’t married. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just find it interesting how despite that being rammed into us, it’s mainly been ignored.

    Sometimes same sex relationships were mentioned in RS (like who should get access to sperm donors more, a lesbian couple, a straight couple who can’t have children, or a rich family who already has children but want more, and in general about morality) but generally same-sex relationships tended to be treated as a joke by the majority of teachers and students at Secondary.

    It wasn’t the case of finding out that I wasn’t “the only one”, I knew that homosexuality existed before I knew I was gay, it was more the case of accepting it, then struggling with feelings of being alone in my experience, that I struggled with.

    I found out what homosexuality was when a friend of mine pretended to get married to me (I was the groom, she was the bride in this game and we were both eight at the time) and asked if she could ever get married to me in the future, and at the time same-sex marriage wasn’t legal so my sister had to explain to my friend about this. After that, I didn’t really hear much about homosexuality- but I kept hearing about it on the internet, and sometimes it’d come up in media as a joke.

    I remember going to see a pantomime when I was quite young, and I went to see Peter Pan. I remember this scene where Peter was trying to keep Tinkerbell stuffed in this draw, and in this particular version of Peter Pan, we were told by the narrator that Tinkerbell was the living embodiment of Peter’s “inner demons”, and at one point she broke free from this draw and was flying around (a small spotlight was used to represent Tinkerbell) and the actress playing Peter Pan pretended to grab this light and stuff it in Peter’s closet/wardrobe.

    Then another character came in and Tinkerbell tries to come out of this closet (represented by the closet being shook about a little by the crew behind the cut-out scenery) and Peter/the actress (they had a woman play the role of Peter) pretended to hold the doors shut and then we got this dialogue (or something similar, this is what I remember anyway):

    Other Character: Hey Pete, how you doing?

    Peter: Fine, fine! *nervous laughter*

    Other character: Say, what are you hiding in there?

    *scenery shakes*

    Peter: Hiding? Me? Nothing! I mean, I’m not hiding anything, why?

    Other character: Ok…well I just thought you should know, Hook’s looking for you so you should try and be careful.

    Peter: Right, ok, got that. Bye!

    *Other character leaves, and Peter grabs an imaginary lock and the actress pretends to lock up the closet*.

    Later on in the pantomime, Tinkerbell somehow manages to get out and nearly dies for some reason, I can’t remember why though.

    I mean, I could have been reading into this scene too much… but the whole “inner demons in a closet” thing did make me wonder…. But then, what about Wendy? Hmm….

    They probably just couldn’t resist the chance to make that joke or something, it was quite clever anyway if that’s what they were going for.

    Other than that, I only remember homosexuality being brought up on the internet, even if that particular thing they were commenting on didn’t have anything to do with it. I’d been brought up in a religious Primary school (I used to be religious, but became an atheist at 12 years old- for reasons unrelated to my orientation), and I kept seeing people write about how homosexuality was bad, and how Christianity doesn’t agree with it and why their interpretation of the Bible was right, and blah blah blah… and I never really questioned it.

    I was always told that any form of physical attraction was bad (straight or otherwise- but anything other than straight was automatically worse) and the way people talked about love made me think that it was some kind of choice/ business agreement. I used to think that people just sort of met up and this is how love went:

    Person A: Why hello person B, what a fine day it is.

    Person B: Indeed, person A.

    Person A: Now as you may know, you and I are of the opposite sex of each other.

    Person B: Why yes, we are.

    Person A: and I feel like it was high time that we dated.

    Person B: Dated?

    Person A: Yes, dated. It would seem like the most logical thing to do, as a team we could easily bring up children together.

    Person B: I’d never thought about it, person A. You’re right, we should do that. I’ll just become attracted to you now, but not in any physical way as that would be lustful and vain of me.

    Person A: Thanks person B, I will become attracted to you in the same way as well. I’m really glad we had this chat, I look forward to raising children with you- and not feel any sense of enjoyment whilst producing them as that would be sinful of me.

    Person B: Likewise, person A.

    Ah, naive me. :lol: I certainly got a shock when I started at Secondary school, that’s when it occurred to me just how much of a bubble I’d been living in. I never really questioned my lack of attraction to men, as I just thought that it made me “better/superior” than the girls I knew.

    It dawned on me that I wasn’t fully straight when I fell for this girl who was in my year at the time, and I felt like a terrible person for having a crush on her-as I’d only ever seen people talking badly about people who aren't straight, and how there was this “gay agenda” and all that nonsense. :eusa_doh: I felt like the fact that I had this crush made me a bad person, but it made eleven-year-old me realise that love isn’t a choice like I had previously thought it was.
     
    #13 Canterpiece, Sep 17, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  14. I AM MEOW

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    So, I was homeschooled by conservative, Christian parents in "Jesusland" (lol, thanks for that Kira), and the closest thing to sex ed we got wha "that sex makes babies" they didn't explain what sex was, neither did they mention periods, so when that happened I thought I was dying. Although from stories from people I know who weren't homeschooled, homosexuality isn't mentioned (with the exception of the art high school in the gay part of town, but it wasn't part of the curriculum, the teacher talked about since he knew there were a lot of gay kids at the school), and most places have abstinence only education where the boys learn what sex is and that it makes babies, and girls watch a childbirth video and get told that's what their future looks like.
     
  15. Geek

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    TBH I didn't pay that much attention in health class (partly because I have a low libido). I don't recall them mentioning anything about the LGBT community, other than that it exists. They might've said it's okay to be gay but I honestly can't remember. All I got from my health class was that you shouldn't be an asshole and give people STDs on purpose.
     
  16. ForNarnia

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    Our sex ed was reasonable, but not amazing.
    We only learned about LGBT+ in PSCHE, and only because we were debating over whether gay marriage should be allowed or not. We were shown a video where everyone in the world is gay, and a straight girl is bullied and eventually kills herself because of people being heterophobic.
    It's a good video, but when you consider that our actual sex ed has no mention of gay sex in any capacity, it's pretty annoying.

    In fact, the only mention of gay sex in our sex ed classes was when we were doing about STI's, and the transmission methods for AIDs and HIV were "Vaginal sex, mixing of blood, and gay sex."

    They also did that thing where they split us into boys and girls. I just never understood why. Surely, it'd be helpful to everyone if we all knew everything, not just the stuff that correlated with our assigned genders? God knows :/
     
    #16 ForNarnia, Sep 28, 2016
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  17. jayanthi

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    There is no sex ed in my country. its stops at telling people about sexually transmitted disease and advising everyone not to have sex before marriage.I found out i wasnt only one through literature (authors like john green,david levithan,a s king) .
     
  18. Gunsmoke

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    Same here, except I don't think anybody brought up any questions about homosexual sex. The curriculum mentioned nothing about homosexuality at all. My school was kind of a homophobic environment: I say "kind of" because really they were just a bunch of immature kids trying to be edgy, nobody was going around saying that LGBTQ people should die or anything, but when my friend came out as trans a lot of people said shit behind his back.
    People at my Sixth Form were much more accepting, I knew several fellow LGBTQ kids and a couple of girls that I knew were in a relationship, and they never got any crap for it that I remember.
     
    #18 Gunsmoke, Sep 28, 2016
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  19. Feelunique

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    I think basic sexuality between genders and what a person might identify as should be included in sex education. By the time I watched a dork roll a condom down a banana I wasn't dumb. I had lost my virginity and first same sex very intimate sexual experiences with my best friend. Then we moved and I had a relationship heterosexual that has left me sad every birthday since then. My aborted baby would have been 17 around my BD. It makes me sick that we can be so shy talking about it but have no problem doing it. Young teens aren't stupid and I think the information sources to them need to be more available than 1950s hetero sex education with a condom rolled down a banana.
     
  20. Czarcastic

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    I had a similar experience. Heterosexual sex was talked about more but more people are heterosexual so it makes perfect sense.