Author Topic: Sex education in the UK - an update  (Read 252 times)

Spritelady

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Sex education in the UK - an update
« on: May 15, 2024, 03:58:14 PM »
I'm not sure that I have anything hugely intelligent to say on this, since I'm still rather in shock, but I would like to hear other people's thoughts on the proposed changes to relationships, health and sex education in the UK.

As I understand it, the current proposed changes include banning sex education for any children under 9 years old (this despite the fact that sex education in primary schools is usually taught in Year 6, when children are 10 years old, anyway and parents have the right to have their children removed from any classes if they wish), and a requirement for teachers 'to be clear that "gender ideology" is contested, if asked about it'.

There is something extremely bizarre to me about the notion of banning children from learning about something in a place dedicated to learning. I can't see what is to be gained by prohibiting teachers from discussing important topics with young children, aside from pushing those children with questions about it to gain potentially inaccurate or even harmful information elsewhere...
« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 04:06:53 PM by Spritelady »

Spritelady

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« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 04:07:12 PM by Spritelady »

Jubal

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Re: Sex education in the UK - an update
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2024, 05:24:16 PM »
Yeah, it's very damaging extreme conservative politics. The idea of "protecting the children" is just used as a bludgeon to damage young people's ability to navigate the world beyond the limited bubble of conservative imaginations - and yes, making it more likely they'll get bad information and advice making them much more vulnerable. It's quite scary really.
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dubsartur

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Re: Sex education in the UK - an update
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2024, 06:52:56 PM »
There is a global war against sex work and the ability to pay for sexy art online too although those movements are a bit more of a 'horseshoe' where people who identify as feminists ally with religious reactionaries.

Edit: I wonder if there is a reactionary war on sex ed outside the rich Anglo countries?  Reactionaries and xenophobes network internationally but ideas spread faster when Canadian hears an American podcast regurgitate an Australian blog post.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 09:13:19 PM by dubsartur »

dubsartur

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Re: Sex education in the UK - an update
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2024, 06:59:22 PM »
People who are closer to schools in Canada than I am think that gender ideology is spreading like Magic: the Gathering in the 1990s, but its hard to say whether teachers or social media are the main vectors (probably depends on the school!)  I would roughly define gender ideology as the belief that gender identity is real and important but biological sex is unimportant (and contrast it with the view that gender is a system of social categories and stereotypes which societies impose on biological sex).

The Vagina Museum had some social media posts about the UK's previous 'teachers, don't say gay' law from 1988.

Mandatory reminder that the relationship between parents and schools in societies with mandatory mass education is inherently fraught and that both parents and teachers can do horrible things to children
« Last Edit: May 15, 2024, 07:06:53 PM by dubsartur »

Jubal

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Re: Sex education in the UK - an update
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2024, 01:02:25 AM »
Certainly eastern Europe has examples of similar positions on eg gender theory: Hungary's government has been very aggressive on this, it's appeared in Slovak rhetoric, in Russia too, and in Georgia.

I wonder if specifically sex ed in schools might be an Anglosphere/west issue because I'm not sure how many other countries were teaching it to afart with or, of those that do, had it holding those cultural connotations. It would be a really interesting thing to have a good international survey of.
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dubsartur

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Re: Sex education in the UK - an update
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2024, 03:30:47 AM »
For sure, Russia and affiliated governments don't like any side of LGBTQ+ but I don't think they would like the model which I learned from queer people and feminists any better with concepts like performativity, the construction of gender, unachievable and self-contradictory gender ideals as a tool of social control, etc.

indiekid

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Re: Sex education in the UK - an update
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2024, 09:38:25 PM »
Teachers take after their worst-behaved students: tell them not to do something and they're possibly more likely to do it. Speaking from experience.

Jubal

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Re: Sex education in the UK - an update
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2024, 09:45:28 PM »
Teachers take after their worst-behaved students: tell them not to do something and they're possibly more likely to do it. Speaking from experience.
I think that's true in terms of attitudes, but threatening people's jobs can have a certain chilling effect on that sort of thing, and make it harder to get time when it's not on the curriculum: teachers are also in my experience very stretched! It would almost need a level of full civil disobedience to get it to work on a "you can't fire all of us" basis, and I don't know if that's something anyone's quite prepared to organise sadly.
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