Thursday, August 30, 2012

From The Dress Up Corner To The Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Pre-K - 12 Schools

Psychologist and educational consultant Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D. tells us about her book...

• Kindergarteners wonder how come the classmate with two moms doesn't have a dad and so they ask their teacher for an explanation.
• Second graders struggle with gender role expectations and begin to learn the "rules" about what is okay for boys and what is okay for girls. Whose "rules" should they follow anyway?
• Fourth graders use "That's so gay" to label anything they think is weird or dumb. Or they use "gay" as a personal put-down, a slur, a taunt.
• Sixth graders step toward adolescence carrying conflicting messages and inaccurate information about sexuality. What should they believe?
• An increasing number of middle school students express a range of Sexual Identities - straight, gay, bisexual, queer - and are looking for guidance and acceptance from their families and school community.
• The small percentage of elementary, middle and high school students who are Gender Variant and/or Transgender are at particular risk in terms of safety, understanding and acceptance in school by both peers and adults
• ALL pre-adolescent and adolescent students need comprehensive sexuality education in order to make healthy, responsible choices and to learn about people different from themselves.

As a culture, we are in the midst of a profound social, legal, political and religious transformation with regard to Gender and Sexuality. Yet it is in Education, in our Pre K- 12 schools, that questions about and reactions to these aspects of Human Identity are manifest on a daily basis in the classroom, in the hallways, or on the playground.

Jennifer sets out in her book to address these and more...check out her website for additional information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So excited that Jennifer Bryan will be speaking at The Friends School of Portland (Maine) this fall as part of their Parenting for Peace speaker series. 8/24/12. Here's the link for any of your readers who might be interested!