How Perceptions on Sexual Diversity are Manifested as Homophobic Behaviors in the Schools.

How Perceptions on Sexual Diversity are Manifested as Homophobic Behaviors in the Schools.

2016-05-01 00:00:00

Methods: The study uses qualitative data from two focus group interviews with young people, 16 to 17 years old who identified themselves as heterosexuals, as well as a separate biographical interview with a 24 years old university student, who identified himself as a homosexual male. Here, the presentation of these two sets of data in a parallel form aimed to create a dialogue on sexuality perceptions and attitudes between participants.

Results: Participants in this study confirmed that schools are places where negative attitudes towards sexual minorities are manifested regularly. They depicted a hostile, school environment (whether in upper secondary or university) where sexual diversity is misunderstood and people who express themselves in a non-heterosexual manner are often marginalized or bullied. For the focus group participants, sexual diversity is explained as a need or a choice of some people in order to provoke or draw attention to themselves. They also justified sexual diversity as the result of a general societal pathology and decline, or problematic family upbringing.

Conclusions: All participants discussed their limitation on appropriate and diverse information regarding sexuality, sexual diversity and sexual minorities. The need for understanding each other through systematic, open-minded school education interventions was mentioned by participants. Moreover, the aims, methodology and timeframe of such interventions were discussed in detail. Focusing on creating alliances is discussed as an intervention plan as well.

Conference: WAS Singapore 2015
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