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Religious Tolerance logo


Teaching About Homosexuality
and Homophobia in U.S. Schools:

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Teachers in U.S. public schools in the U.S. are in a lose-lose situation.

bullet If they teach the current near consensus shared by therapists, social workers, human sexuality researchers, human rights organizations, liberal students, liberal parents, gays, bisexuals, and lesbians about homosexuality, they will seriously upset social and religious conservative students, parents, and organizations intheir community.

bullet If they teach the current near consensus shared by social and religious conservatives about homosexuality, then they will seriously upset therapists, social workers, human sexuality researchers, human rights organizations, liberal students, liberal parents, gays, bisexuals, and lesbians.

bullet If they teach both belief systems, then they will probably be criticized by both groups.

Schools face other difficulties in teaching this topic:

bullet There is a real conflict between the needs of the students and the beliefs of their parents. North America is experiencing an unusually rapid shift in cultural and religious beliefs about homosexuality. Schools need to prepare students for their adult life which may extend into the 2080s and beyond. Meanwhile, many of parents of these same student developed their ideas about homosexuality back in the 1970's or earlier when groups like the American Psychiatric Association still considered homosexuality to be a mental illness in need of treatment.

bullet Above all, teaching about homosexuality involves three very "hot" topics: human sexuality itself, the behavior of sexual minorities, and youth sexuality.

Teachers, school officials and boards of education are not in an enviable position!

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Changes since 2005:

The above was originally written during 2005. Public opinion about homosexuality and same-sex marriage have changed somewhat during the subsequent decade:

  • About the year 2011, a majority of U.S. adults favored marriage equality for the first time.

  • In mid-2015, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country.

  • As of early 2017, about 61% of U.S. adults favor same-sex marriage. This value has been increasing for decades.

  • In 2016, a test was developed that determines which adult males are homosexual with an accuracy of 83%. It measures components of an epigenetic layer of the person's DNA, which do not change during the person's lifetime from birth to death. Thus, performing the test on both adults, children, and newborns should be able to predict which adults are homosexual and which children and newborns will become homosexual later in life. This is solid proof that homosexuality is something that one is born with, and does not choose later. More details.

Over time, these developments should simplify the teaching of sexual orientation in schools.

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Topics covered in this section:

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How you may have arrived here:

Site navigation: Home page > Conflict > Homosexuality > > Religious impact > here

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Copyright © 2005 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-MAY-08
Latest update: 2017-JAN-24
Author: B.A. Robinson

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