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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. An overview of gay, lesbian and bisexual issues in Botswana

    In Botswana, homosexuality is criminalized, stigmatized, and considered by some to be “un-African.” Unsurprisingly in this context there has been scant research on lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) issues. This paper reviews what research has been done in the areas of HIV risk, substance abuse, and mental health; explores the issues facing LGBs in Botswana; and offers recommendations for policy and future research. …

  2. How students’ perceptions of the school climate influence their choice to upstand, bystand, or Join perpetrators of bullying

    The authors of this article, Silvia Diazgranados Ferráns and Robert Selman, use an emergent framework to explore how the rules of the school culture at different perceived school climates affect early adolescents’ decisions to upstand, bystand, or join the perpetrators when they witness peer aggression and bullying. Through a grounded theory approach, they revisit interview data from twenty-three eighth graders in four middle schools, with the aim of building on previous research and refining their theoretical framework to guide future research on bullying. …

  3. The effect of negative school climate on academic outcomes for LGBT youth and the role of in-school supports

    For many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, intolerance and prejudice make school a hostile and dangerous place. This study examined simultaneously the effects of a negative school climate on achievement and the role that school-based supports—safe school policies, supportive school personnel, and gay–straight alliance (GSA) clubs—may have in offsetting these effects. Data were drawn from a survey of a diverse sample of 5,730 LGBT youths who had attended secondary schools in the United States. …

  4. Skool’s out

    The Skool's Out initiative was aimed at encouraging effective responses to homophobic harassment and violence in and around schools, both public and private, in New South Wales, Australia. The focus was on safety and security in the school environment for all students, teachers, parents and community members. It was held as part of the 2002 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and comprised three events: a public Forum, an entry in the Parade and a stall for the Mardi Gras Fair Day. A report and an information card were also produced. …

  5. Lesbian teachers' identity, power and the public/private boundary

    This article examines lesbian teachers' negotiation of the public/private boundary in the school, focusing on identity management in the context of the heterosexualised space of this public institution. The study is based on interviews conducted with six lesbian teachers working in London secondary schools. I examine the teachers' responses, and the ways in which they mediate the ‘polite’ silences in relation to lesbian and gay sexuality, as situated in a framework of liberal tolerance found in public and political domains. …

  6. Empowering lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth: lessons learned from a Safe Schools Summit

    The bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in schools is a significant problem in the United States. This study examined responses of youth participants at a statewide Safe Schools Summit to a survey of their experiences with school-based violence, harassment, and discrimination, and of the effects of their attendance at the Summit. Quantitative analyses found that 92% of respondents felt "more empowered" following participation in the Summit. …

  7. Breaking a spell of silence: the Tasmanian evaluation of the 2006 Pride and Prejudice program

    An evaluation of the Pride & Prejudice program, which ran in three Tasmanian schools in 2006, suggests that students who completed the program had more positive attitudes towards gay men and lesbians. This finding parallels an earlier evaluation of the same anti-homophobia program undertaken in Victoria. The evaluation leads to a discussion about the deeper and often hidden purposes of schooling, and about the discursive formations of heteronormativity, which provide a heterosexist basis for ‘curriculum’. …

  8. Effects of homophobic versus nonhomophobic victimization on school commitment and the moderating effect of teacher attitudes in Brazilian public schools

    This study investigated homophobic victimization, teacher support, and school commitment in Brazilian schools. Participants were 339 students, ages 11 to 18, in two public schools in Brazil. Data were obtained using the Brazil Preventing School Harassment Survey. Structural equation modeling revealed that both homophobic and nonhomophobic victimization were negatively related to school commitment but that homophobic victimization was a stronger predictor. Results supported the hypothesis that supportive teachers can moderate the relationship between victimization and school commitment. …

  9. Teach to reach: addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth issues in the classroom

    This article explores the delicate and complex issues immediate to the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. The author places the discussion within the context of learning environments and presents ways in which pre-service and in-service teachers can help create safe and equitable spaces for all learners. Presented are various classroom strategies, activities, and resources for educators to tap into and utilize.

  10. Bullying of lesbian and gay youth: a qualitative investigation

    The preponderance of bullying research does not address sexual orientation as a possible factor. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of service providers and youth advocates working with lesbian and gay communities in order to increase understanding of bullying of lesbian and gay youth. In depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine key informants from various education and social service settings. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive data analysis was conducted using a constant comparative method. …

  11. Special issue: anti-homophobia teacher education

    This special issue focuses on one particular field of social justice; that is, anti-homophobia education. The various papers included explore how antihomophobia education is being approached in some teacher education programs and in the broader field of education in regions of Australia and Canada. It provides a glimpse of how teacher educators and educators more generally are trying to counteract, disrupt and challenge the homophobia and heterosexism that prevail in educational contexts and in broader communities. …

  12. Taking over the school: student gangs as a strategy for dealing with homophobic bullying in an urban public school district

    This article discusses the African American lesbian gang, DTO (Dykes Taking Over), as an example of a student-initiated strategy for dealing with homophobic bullying in an urban American school district. A series of alleged incidents of same-sex sexual harassment by gang members on heterosexual students illustrate how lesbian/bisexual threat was used by these women to re-establish a power differential after they experienced bullying based on their sexuality and gender expression. …

  13. Effects of general and homophobic victimization on adolescents' psychosocial and educational concerns: the importance of intersecting identities and parent support

    Many adolescents experience peer victimization, which often can be homophobic. Applying the minority stress model with attention to intersecting social identities, this study tested the effects of general and homophobic victimization on several educational outcomes through suicidality and school belonging among 15,923 adolescents in Grades 7 through 12 on account of their sexual orientation and race/ethnicity. Parent support also was tested as a moderator of these effects. …

  14. Perceptions of rural school staff regarding sexual minority students

    Sexual minority students often do not feel safe in school, especially in rural communities, and changes are needed within school environments in order to provide a safe and effective learning environment for all students. Prior to implementing school change, an investigation into the perceptions of educators in public schools in three rural New York counties was conducted. Results indicated that respondents, especially teachers, viewed sexual minority students significantly less favorably than other minority groups. …

  15. This was my hell: the violence experienced by gender non-conforming youth in US high schools

    This paper explores the experiences of harassment and violence endured by seven gender nonconforming youth in US high schools. Based on a larger research project, it opens an inquiry into the school-based lives of gender-variant teens, a group heretofore ignored by most academics and educators. Breaking violence down into two main types (physical and sexual), this work uses informants' voices, along with 'doing gender' theory, to analyze the experiences of butch lesbian girls, trans teenagers, and genderqueer youth. …

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