Include Gender Studies in Alberta's Educational System sign now

 

Including Gender Studies in Alberta's educational system is important because it can improve the equality of all students in Alberta (and our society) through education and understanding.

According to a report from 2007 called Freedom to Be: A Teachers’ Guide to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Human Rights by the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, "students harassed based on actual or perceived sexual orientation are more than three times as likely as students who are not harassed to make a suicide attempt" and "over one third (37.8%) of LGBT students have experienced some form of physical harassment". Statistics like these are easy to find in the media, on the internet and in classrooms. Bullying because of sexual and gender orientation is reaching epidemic levels. 

Most LGBT kids in Alberta have been harassed and discriminated against. This behaviour does not just effect LGBT youth, but all Albertan youth. By incorporating Gender Studies in Alberta's educational system, many of these issues regarding the LGBT community and all peoples' sexual and gender identities can addressed at an earlier and more formative age. The crucial age when youth begin their process of self-discovery is also the time when bullying and discrimination against "different" students multiplies. Education about sex and gender is a powerful tool in the prevention of discrimination against youth who do not fit in the heternormative world we live in. This tool should be utilized in Alberta schools at the secondary school level.

If Alberta's youth understood how gender roles are constructed and expressed discrimination against people who are not traditionally "masculine" or "feminine" could be stopped. By learning how sexual guidelines are constructed and reflect heternormativity, students could be motivated to break free from the unspoken rules that dictate how people should feel and act, as well as accept those who act outside established sexual guidelines. Negative stereotypes, sexism (from both men and women), and social exclusion associated with gender and sex could be greatly lessened in the future if youth learn about it today. 

No person should be punished for their gender identity or sexual identity, and continuing to exclude LGBT people from what is deemed "normal" is a detriment to society as a whole. Gender Studies does not have to be an intimidating or foreign subject to Alberta's youth; we all already understand many of these topics even if we are unconscious of their effect on us. Many strides have been taken to end heterosexism and the bullying of LGBT youth, but by signing this petition, we can make the effort to make these changes at the earliest age possible through public education. 

 

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Information

Melanie WebberBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Alberta Education

Petition community:
Women's Rights Groups, LGBT Rights Groups,

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gender education

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