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Sexuality & Homophobia Training © Andrew Smith
Group Contract Take responsibility for your own learning Make ‘I’ statements Ask questions if you don’t understand Keep mobile phones off or on silent Keep to time Use statements about sexuality that you are comfortable with and with respect © Andrew Smith
Programme Looking at our own attitudes and values Looking at prejudice Looking at exploring sexuality and coming out Taking this back the young people we work with © Andrew Smith
Is this a school issue? Sexuality affects us all – we all have it. Confidence in challenging homophobia Understanding of some of this issues for young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or exploring their sexuality. Confidence in working with issues around sexuality. Confidence in talking about a range of diverse sexualities with young people. © Andrew Smith
The language we use Gay – Homosexual – (men or women) Bisexual Heterosexual Trans – (Transexual / Transgender) Heterosexism - when we assume that everybody’s sexuality is heterosexual unless told otherwise. (personal / organisational) © Andrew Smith
Experiences of bullying © Andrew Smith
Experiences of bullying Type: Males (%) Females(%) Total(%) name calling 85 69 82 teasing 58 56 58 hitting/kicking 68 31 60 frightened by a look/stare 54 44 52 isolated 24 41 52 rumour mongering 57 67 59 ridiculed 75 54 71 sexually assaulted 13 5 11 theft/belongings taken 47 31 49 _____________________________________________________ Source: Rivers, 1999 n = 151 n = 39 n = 190 © Andrew Smith
Where bullying occurs? 2 XXBelongings taken XSexual assault XXXXXXXXXPublic ridicule XX Rumour mongering XXXXXXXXXFrightened by a look/ stare XX Hitting/kicking XTeasing XXXXX Name –calling OtherOn the way home Changing rooms School grounds ClassroomsCorridors XXX = FrequentlyXX = RegularlyX = Sometimes © Andrew Smith
Bullying © Andrew Smith
Gay’s the word! The term ‘Gay’ is the most commonly used and yet least challenged form of abuse in places where young people are. Gay is used to men anything that is bad, rubbish, worthless, without value. If young gay people are hearing this message how are they going to feel about their own sexuality. ‘That’s gay’ has become part of young peoples everyday language. Many adults believe that it has lost its homophobic meaning and therefore fail to challenge it. 50% of young LGB reported that teachers never intervened when they saw bullying that related to sexual orientation. Challenging and responding to homophobia will also help to address concerns regarding gender based bullying and stereotypical images of masculinity and femininity © Andrew Smith
What are the experiences of young gay people? © Andrew Smith
Age of first awareness of same – sex attraction 05101520 Age of First Awareness 0 10 20 30 40 50 Count Female Male GENDER School Years © Andrew Smith
Age of first labelling as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, (LGB) 0510152025 Age of First Self-Labelling 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Count Female Male GENDER School Years © Andrew Smith
Age of first disclosure of same sex orientation. 510152025 Age of First Disclosure 0 20 40 60 Count Female Male GENDER © Andrew Smith
What does it mean to be young and gay? 1 in 3 chance of being bullied. 1 in 6 chance of contemplating suicide. Are more likely to self harm or contemplate suicide. 1 in 15 chance of having long term mental health problems. At high risk of social isolation. At high risk of being a school refuser. Less chance of entering HE/FE because of a need to get out of a system which has failed them. © Andrew Smith
What does this mean for us? Working with many young people at the age when they are discovering, labelling and disclosing their sexuality. Working with young people who are being bullied because of their sexuality. Working with those who bully. Working with young people who may have confused messages about their sexual health. © Andrew Smith
What can we do? Challenge homophobia. Have a zero tolerance policy towards any form of hate crime including homophobia. Promote positive gay role model. Use inclusive language. (partner v’s wife, husband, girlfriend) Provide inclusive information to all young people. Make safe spaces available for young people to be able to discuss sexuality and sexual relationships. © Andrew Smith
References: 1: King and McKeown. (2003) Taken from DfES Research. Homophobia, Sexual Orientation and Schools: A review and implications for action. 2: ‘Stand Up for Us’ DfES. Dept of Health, Healthy Schools 3: Janet Durham. Osborne School Bullying Data Sept 04 – May 05. Osborne School With thanks to Ian Rivers PhD. Reader in Psychology York St. John College © Andrew Smith
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