Gender lessons broadly supported
Over 80 per cent of Australian parents appear to support the teaching of gender and sexuality diversity in schools.
A new national study by Western Sydney University includes a survey of parents that asked whether they believe gender and sexuality diversity should be included in classroom discussions.
The research found that:
94 per cent of parents want Relationships and Sexuality Education delivered in government schools
82 per cent of parents support the curriculum inclusion of gender and sexuality diversity topics for all school students, from kindergarten to Year 12
Most parents want to see gender and sexuality diversity introduced in the curriculum in primary school and the early years of high school
The majority of parents support parents, schools and teachers all being involved in Relationships and Sexuality Education
"The majority of parents in the study rated gender and sexuality diversity-inclusive content as of high or moderate importance. Sexual health, safety and wellbeing were similarly ranked,” said researcher Associate Professor Jacqueline Ullman.
“There are implications here for teachers. A recent Australian study of high-school sex education teachers found gender and sexuality diversity was the subject they were least comfortable teaching. Nearly two-thirds said they were careful around the topic due to possible adverse community reaction.
“Teachers would clearly benefit from more support to feel confident that discussing these topics is in line with the views of the majority of today’s parents. Our research findings support this.”