LGBT Relationship Lessons in UK Schools

esmufc07

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Due to become mandatary from September 2020, and for those who haven't seen or been aware there have been protests (predominantly in Birmingham from the Muslim community) about the teaching of same-sex relationships to primary children. This is a good overview of the issue.


Whilst it will still be legal to remove the child from sex education, parents won't have the right to remove their child from the Relationship element of the curriculum.

50. If a pupil is excused from sex education, it is the school’s responsibility to ensure that the pupil receives appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal. There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education or Health Education.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/805781/Relationships_Education__Relationships_and_Sex_Education__RSE__and_Health_Education.pdf

What are people's thoughts on this? Particularly interested to hear the views of any Muslim posters amongst us. Personally I think the Government and DfE have been far too slow and and not affirmative in their response. This should have been nipped in the bud a long time ago and protesters told in no uncertain terms that their protests are nothing more than homophobic. The idea that teaching young children that same-sex relationships exist is somehow immoral is absurd.
 

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no brainer. religion should be kept firmly within RE classes and that's it. it has no relevance anywhere else on the curriculum.
 

crappycraperson

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People pussy foot around these kind of issues because they don't want to openly label religious texts or teachings as regressive. I actually sympathise with the opposing parents on some level since first step should have been to openly challenge the existing homophobia within the adults in that community.
 

sullydnl

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If people want to hold homophobic positions (for religous reasons or otherwise) then that's their business. They can't expect the state to facilitate them in spreading that to their kids though.

Whereas given that same-sex relationships are supposed to be treated as being equal, people should be able to expect that they will be treated as such in the school system.
 

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I'd have to see the actual content but teaching primary school children about LGBT does feel a little uncomfortable to me and i can't really place why.

I'm fine with the idea of different sexualities incorporated into education generally (i.e not pretending gays don't exist) it's more specific lessons i have a bit of an issue with. Primary school children are too young for identity and labels I'd just rather general principles of equality and kindness are taught.
 

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I'm sure someone will tell me but I'm not sure why we need lessons to inform children of same sex relationships, it should be open enough in society that they just accept it as a normal part of life as they would a heterosexual relationship. Maybe kids should just be taught about loving relationships.
 

SteveJ

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I'd have to see the actual content but teaching primary school children about LGBT does feel a little uncomfortable to me and i can't really place why.
With same-sex parenthood increasing in society, perhaps it's a good idea to educate children about it?
 

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Nothing should be dictated by religion. The respect it still garners is mad, although obviously declining. Anyone's views can and should be listened to (and then challenged if in the way of progression), but it certainly shouldn't be given more respect just because it comes from a religious angle.
Hate how whoever complains usually gets something out of it as well, as if we have to take on board what the lowest common denominator says (possibly wrong use of that idiom).
 

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With same-sex parenthood increasing in society, perhaps it's a good idea to educate children about it?
I grew up with a middle school so perhaps I'm thinking younger children when primary is mentioned. Really young children don't care if someone has two daddys or mummys.

I suppose it's about countering the parents view as if schools don't fill that gap homophobic parents do when the kid asks questions.
 

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It will be interesting as to how it’s taught in terms of sexual education. I was in High School around 10-15 years ago and sex education was basically boiled down to “Use a condom” and “Sex can make babies”. How will they approach lesbian sexual relationships or trans for example? It needs to be added to the curriculum but it's important that it's done in the right way. I still feel like adults treat teens especially like they're dumb and don't know about things but with twitter/snapchat/instagram/tiktok they know more and more about certain things they probably shouldn't (talking about sex here, not LGBT issues). It's good that they're finally recognising that by teaching these things it will create safer spaces and more spaces that people feel like they can be themselves and learn about themselves rather than be alone in doing so.

In regards to the relgion part - meh. If they want their kids to be brought up a certain way at home I disagree with the view but they're entitled to do so. The schools are also entitled to do so too and it's good that they're taking the stance to educate. My partner is Muslim and some people in her family have an issue that I'm not Muslim. Despite that she's perfectly happy in going against those views and being with me. In these scenarios it will be the same. If a child grows up in a muslim household that doesn't hold the view that same-sex relationships are okay they'll still be aware of them and free to make their own choice in regards to it. Obviously it becomes an issue if they are gay/trans themselves but at least they now have a safe space at school as i said previously.

I'm sure someone will tell me but I'm not sure why we need lessons to inform children of same sex relationships, it should be open enough in society that they just accept it as a normal part of life as they would a heterosexual relationship. Maybe kids should just be taught about loving relationships.
In an ideal world you're right but it isn't. The whole point of this is that they are being taught now about all forms of loving relationships and not purely heterosexual ones which was the case before.
 

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I'm sure someone will tell me but I'm not sure why we need lessons to inform children of same sex relationships, it should be open enough in society that they just accept it as a normal part of life as they would a heterosexual relationship. Maybe kids should just be taught about loving relationships.
The problem opponents of this seem to have is even acknowledging the existence of same-sex couples at a young age. Indeed in some cases I think that's all this is - acknowledging that whereas a lot of people are in heterosexual couples, some aren't and that's okay.
 

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It will be interesting as to how it’s taught in terms of sexual education. I was in High School around 10-15 years ago and sex education was basically boiled down to “Use a condom” and “Sex can make babies”. How will they approach lesbian sexual relationships or trans for example? It needs to be added to the curriculum but it's important that it's done in the right way. I still feel like adults treat teens especially like they're dumb and don't know about things but with twitter/snapchat/instagram/tiktok they know more and more about certain things they probably shouldn't (talking about sex here, not LGBT issues). It's good that they're finally recognising that by teaching these things it will create safer spaces and more spaces that people feel like they can be themselves and learn about themselves rather than be alone in doing so.

In regards to the relgion part - meh. If they want their kids to be brought up a certain way at home I disagree with the view but they're entitled to do so. The schools are also entitled to do so too and it's good that they're taking the stance to educate. My partner is Muslim and some people in her family have an issue that I'm not Muslim. Despite that she's perfectly happy in going against those views and being with me. In these scenarios it will be the same. If a child grows up in a muslim household that doesn't hold the view that same-sex relationships are okay they'll still be aware of them and free to make their own choice in regards to it. Obviously it becomes an issue if they are gay/trans themselves but at least they now have a safe space at school as i said previously.



In an ideal world you're right but it isn't. The whole point of this is that they are being taught now about all forms of loving relationships and not purely heterosexual ones which was the case before.
Given the explosion of LGBTQi+ culture in popular culture, don't think 'each to their own' stance is going to work. Same was used (is still used?) to excuse folks who believed in discrimination on the basis of race and that did not last long.
 

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Kids shouldn't be allowed to be excused from sex education either. It's hardly something that isn't going to effect some kids during their lives.
 

sullydnl

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I'm sure someone will tell me but I'm not sure why we need lessons to inform children of same sex relationships, it should be open enough in society that they just accept it as a normal part of life as they would a heterosexual relationship. Maybe kids should just be taught about loving relationships.
The protests include people who are objecting to even having books that incidentally portray same-sex relationships, which are extremely common in real life.

So either the books portray no relationships whatsoever (which is hideously impractical), portray both (which is fine), or only avoid portraying same-sex relationships (which is fundamentally homophobic as there's no reason to treat them differently to "traditional" relationships in that regard that doesn't suggest there's some sort of problem with that type of relationship). There's no way of dodging the issue by not bringing the subject up.

Especially in a context where the state is actively teaching children about equality. It would be a pretty fecking huge elephant in the room.
 

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Given the explosion of LGBTQi+ culture in popular culture, don't think 'each to their own' stance is going to work. Same was used (is still used?) to excuse folks who believed in discrimination on the basis of race and that did not last long.
How do you police what people do in their own homes though in terms of what they teach their children? That sparks a whole different debate which relates to if social services should take children away from parents that tell children that gay relationships aren't okay despite them being physically and mentally well brought up in all other regards.

Teaching it in school is a good first step and hopefully by doing so will educate these children to then teach their kids what they learnt in school rather than what their parents have perhaps taught them. Personally, I was definitely shaped more as an individual by what I learnt at school and the people i was around at school more than my parents in my teens.
 

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I would be interested to see the syllabus before really commenting on whether there should be specific changes in curriculum to teach this stuff. I'm more for a softer approach with learning material in general with all subjects being more varied in terms of storytelling ... ie. Instead of it automatically being mummy and daddy or boyfriend and girlfriend it could be introduced at an earlier age with Daddy and Daddy or Girlfriend and girlfriend. You know, normalised in a more natural and generic way.

I'm still reluctant to bombard kids with this stuff from such an early age but that may just be me at my age!

As the Dad of two teenagers though, I'm not sure what needs to change? My two seem perfectly fine with everything and as far as I know they haven't been taught what gay is specifically.
 

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I think it depends on the age group. I’d be hesitant to teach 4-5 year olds about anything related to relationships, gay or otherwise. They’re 4 - they couldn’t give a shit.

When they get towards the end of primary, 9/10/11 etc, then I’d say that’s the time to start it.
 

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When they get towards the end of primary, 9/10/11 etc, then I’d say that’s the time to start it.
Currently the average age for first sexual intercourse is about 17 or 18 with minor % getting laid even before. I think 15 would be a good age to start educating kids on sex and sexuality. At that age most would already have exposure to LGBT stuff from movies/TV/Internet etc and it's be prime time to stop them from getting to incorrect or inaccurate conclusions.
 

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I'm not sure how this will work. Kids learn in school that LGBT is not "not-normal" and then go back to their religious family who'll claim them to be evil. Kids may end up more confused than ever. I don't know what the answer is but such education should be more generic and not just restricted to the sexual aspect of it.
 

sullydnl

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Currently the average age for first sexual intercourse is about 17 or 18 with minor % getting laid even before. I think 15 would be a good age to start educating kids on sex and sexuality. At that age most would already have exposure to LGBT stuff from movies/TV/Internet etc and it's be prime time to stop them from getting to incorrect or inaccurate conclusions.
Not sure if you're being serious or not (it might just have gone way over my head) but 15 is way, way, way too late to start educating kids on sex or sexuality.

Aside from the fact that you have to cater for kids who will becomes sexually active at a young age rather than the average age (which in effect means some sex-ed is required pre-secondary school), by the time they're fifteen they will already have been exposed to years of information and misinformation on sex already. Hell, once they get a mobile phone they have access to all the hardcore pornography the world has to offer. How many teens do you think won't have been exposed to that when the average age for getting your first mobile phone is around 10?
 
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Edgar Allan Pillow

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Not sure if you're being serious or not but 15 is way, way, way too late to start educating kids on sex or sexuality.

Aside from the fact that you have to cater for kids who will becomes sexually active at a young age rather than the average age (which in effect means some sex-ed is required pre-secondary school), by the time they're fifteen they will already have been exposed to years of information and misinformation on sex already. Hell, once they get a mobile phone they have access to all the hardcore pornography the world has to offer. How many teens do you think won't have been exposed to that when the average age for getting your first mobile phone is around 10?
As I said average age for first sex is 15. A small % start as early as 15. The number of kids having sex before 15 is really negligible from what I get and can be put as exception to the rule. There should be correlation between maturity and educational content.

My 13 yo niece's class has 2 children having same sex parents. They fit in well and none of the kids in class feel anything is out of ordinary. There is no way to stop all kinds of negative influences, but 15 is still a age when views are not set (like adults) and proper education can mould them better.
 

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I'm sure someone will tell me but I'm not sure why we need lessons to inform children of same sex relationships, it should be open enough in society that they just accept it as a normal part of life as they would a heterosexual relationship. Maybe kids should just be taught about loving relationships.
Should be, but isn't, at all. That's why we need to teach kids that there's nothing wrong with a same sex relationship. Of course religious people don't want that, because that kind of contradicts the whole it's sinful shtick.

On a different note, I think sex education should teach children that porn = / = sex. Kids growing up thinking that's a realistic representation of what goes in the bedroom will turn out fecked up.

Also, I never had sex education at school. To this day, I still dunno why.
 

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I'm not sure how this will work. Kids learn in school that LGBT is not "not-normal" and then go back to their religious family who'll claim them to be evil. Kids may end up more confused than ever. I don't know what the answer is but such education should be more generic and not just restricted to the sexual aspect of it.
If that's true about their families, then it's just another reason why it's a good idea. We can't let "they are evil" be the only things kid learn.
 

sullydnl

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As I said average age for first sex is 15. A small % start as early as 15. The number of kids having sex before 15 is really negligible from what I get and can be put as exception to the rule. There should be correlation between maturity and educational content.

My 13 yo niece's class has 2 children having same sex parents. They fit in well and none of the kids in class feel anything is out of ordinary. There is no way to stop all kinds of negative influences, but 15 is still a age when views are not set (like adults) and proper education can mould them better.
The average age of kids having sex is irrelevant. The point is to protect and inform the youngest age cohort too, even if they're the exception rather than the rule.

Plus it's not that rare. In Ireland one third of of schoolchildren reported having had penetrative sex, one in five of whom were under 16. That's not taking other sex acts into account, or indeed societal pressures related to sex. For example, a survey of 1001 children aged between 11 and 16 in the UK found that 14% had taken naked or semi-naked images of themselves, with 7% having shared them. Also, the average age for becoming aware of your own sexuality was 12, even if the average age for coming out is 17. Plus, the porn. 53% of those 11 to 16 year olds had seen porn online and of that group 94% had seen it by the time they were 14. Plus beyond all of that, even without bothering to look up any statistics I can tell you that the percentage of girls under 15 who will have experienced some form of unwanted sexual attention will be unfortunately high.

The idea that you'd wait until 15 to start teaching kids about sex and sexuality in that context is ludicrously naive. There's a very good reason most professionals recommend sex-ed begins long before that.
 
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Should be, but isn't, at all. That's why we need to teach kids that there's nothing wrong with a same sex relationship. Of course religious people don't want that, because that kind of contradicts the whole it's sinful shtick.

On a different note, I think sex education should teach children that porn = / = sex. Kids growing up thinking that's a realistic representation of what goes in the bedroom will turn out fecked up.

Also, I never had sex education at school. To this day, I still dunno why.
I get that but I suppose it depends how they intend to teach it. I would prefer that it just appears unmentioned. For example in a French book rather than Monsieur and Madame DuPont you could just have Monsieur and Monsieur.

If it is pointed out it just draws attention as though it is something unusual that we should get used to, which would be completely counter productive
 

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If primary school is like elementary school here in the US (grades kindergarten to 5th), I’m opposed to teaching sexual relationships in general. In 5th grade we had reproductive health education taught by a classmates dad who was a doctor. It was mainly learning about male and female anatomy and how babies are made. I thought it was appropriate for that age (11-12). We had another actual sex ed class in 7th and 12th grade. I wouldn’t be opposed to teaching lgbtq content at those levels, but elementary school is too young imo to be learning about dating/sexual relationships
 

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If primary school is like elementary school here in the US (grades kindergarten to 5th), I’m opposed to teaching sexual relationships in general. In 5th grade we had reproductive health education taught by a classmates dad who was a doctor. It was mainly learning about male and female anatomy and how babies are made. I thought it was appropriate for that age (11-12). We had another actual sex ed class in 7th and 12th grade. I wouldn’t be opposed to teaching lgbtq content at those levels, but elementary school is too young imo to be learning about dating/sexual relationships
Your tagline has aged well.
 

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I don't think 5 and 6 year olds need any specific lessons on the variety of human sexual relationships. And you don't need a full on dedicated course to teach kids that there are different types of relationship and family structure and that's okay. Very overzealous. It's the sort of topic that you can bring in more organically as part of other lessons around age 8 and on until the end of primary school.

Obviously there's no justification to shutting down teaching for religious zealotry either. But then spare a thought for all the poor kids stuck in faith schools, no chance of them getting any exposure to these ideas.
 

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The average age of kids having sex is irrelevant. The point is to protect and inform the youngest age cohort too, even if they're the exception rather than the rule.

The idea that you'd wait until 15 to start teaching kids about sex and sexuality in that context is ludicrously naive. There's a very good reason most professionals recommend sex-ed begins long before that.
Perhaps we have crossed wires. I was recommending 15 to start LGBT classes as they would widen the scope to religion based discussion that you'd want to have with a 10yo. They can have anatomy, procreation, safe sex classes from earlier.
 

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As I said average age for first sex is 15. A small % start as early as 15. The number of kids having sex before 15 is really negligible from what I get and can be put as exception to the rule. There should be correlation between maturity and educational content.

My 13 yo niece's class has 2 children having same sex parents. They fit in well and none of the kids in class feel anything is out of ordinary. There is no way to stop all kinds of negative influences, but 15 is still a age when views are not set (like adults) and proper education can mould them better.
:lol:Do you live in the 1950s?
 

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I grew up with a middle school so perhaps I'm thinking younger children when primary is mentioned. Really young children don't care if someone has two daddys or mummys.

I suppose it's about countering the parents view as if schools don't fill that gap homophobic parents do when the kid asks questions.
At that age it's important to normalise imagery though. Same sex couples are the norm.
 

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I’m against it. I think secondary school is fine and age appropriate even year 7 but primary school it is unnecessary and we end up just sexualising children for no reason other than to make ourselves feel better that we are doing the ‘right’ thing but might actually be causing more harm than good but interfering with kids sexualities before they’re fully formed.

I’d be against even teaching hetro sex info at primary - I want my child to enjoy their childhood without having to think about relationships and sex etc .. why are we so keen to take away their innocence so early and make them adults.
 

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I’m against it. I think secondary school is fine and age appropriate even year 7 but primary school it is unnecessary and we end up just sexualising children for no reason other than to make ourselves feel better that we are doing the ‘right’ thing but might actually be causing more harm than good but interfering with kids sexualities before they’re fully formed.

I’d be against even teaching hetro sex info at primary - I want my child to enjoy their childhood without having to think about relationships and sex etc .. why are we so keen to take away their innocence so early and make them adults.
Funny that this argument about innocence and the like never applies with Religion. Telling a child that some people have two dads is apparently potentially harmful to the child, but telling children if they don't follow the will of a mythical figure in the sky they'll be sent to an eternity of hell and torture is just fine.
 

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Funny that this argument about innocence and the like never applies with Religion. Telling a child that some people have two dads is apparently potentially harmful to the child, but telling children if they don't follow the will of a mythical figure in the sky they'll be sent to an eternity of hell and torture is just fine.
On the contrary, I'd say it's a form of child abuse. I'd be all for banning religious studies tbh.