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Helping students understand and accept sexual diversity

Sears, J.T. (1991, December). Helping students understand and accept sexual diversity. The Education Digest, 57(4), 53-55.

OVERVIEW

"Many students experience intimidation and suffer in fearful silence within our nation’s schools because they are gay or bisexual," begins Sears. The author is the senior research associate at the South Carolina Educational Policy Center and an associate professor in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. In this article, Sears challenges his readers’ cultural feelings regarding homosexuality, stating that these feelings hurt those who are sexually different; as a result, homosexual youth are forced to hide their feelings. "When they hide their feelings, however, their emotional and sexual development languishes." Our response, instead, should be to tag these young people as "at risk" and provide special support services for them.

Sears falters, however, in building his case for sexual diversity in our schools when he builds his argument upon the much-debunked Kinsey report. He attempts to convince his readers that "human beings are diverse sexual creatures: our capacity to relate emotionally and physically to other beings is not limited to the other gender." He later states that "sex is an internal part of school life...covert sexual instruction comprises a large part of the hidden curriculum at and junior or senior high school: the exchange of lustful looks in the hallway or romantic notes in the classroom." Sears is troubled by the fact that schools stress critical thinking skills, and yet fail to extend these skills "across the curriculums" to such topics as "homosexuality, safer sex practices, abortion ethics, and sources of birth control. "Sexual values are taught, not explored; sexual danger is stressed while sexual pleasure is minimized; heterosexual intercourse is presented as the apex of the pyramid of sexual desire." The heavy New Age influence of Sears is vivid: "The capacity of people to create and recreate their sexual identities is an integral component of the new holistic sexuality curriculum...then, we will not only recognize and support the development of gay and bisexual students among us, but we will help all students realize their full human potential."

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  1. Do you think that providing "special" services for homosexual youth will encourage this behavior?
  2. How do you respond to the ideas of Sears?
  3. Would you mind going to school with homosexuals?
  4. Do you see homosexuality as merely an alternative lifestyle?
  5. What do you think Jesus would say to Mr. Sears?

IMPLICATION

This article is highly disturbing. However, it provides great insight into those that are influencing the direction of education in America. These attitudes provide a great platform to launch a biblical study of homosexuality in one’s youth group.

Bill Finley cCYS