Phrases like ‘male’ and ‘female’ could be banned in Australian schools

4th oct 2017

A call to change school sex education to omit gendered references and make lessons more inclusive for transgender students has sparked debate across the country

Rather than gendered references to reproductive anatomy with words like penis, vagina, sperm, and ovaries, gender-neutral terms to identify these organs could be used, an Australian university study suggests.

“Educators and sexuality education programs must… develop ways of talking about bodies and intimacy that shift attention away from the normative association of particular genders with particular anatomies,” the paper published in the Journal of Sex Education, claims.

“The language of sperm and eggs can produce dysphoria for some young transgender people,” Damien Riggs and Clare Bartholomaeus of Flinders University in South Australia wrote in the report.

The references in the mainstream education caused some of the young people to experience a disordered view of their genitalia, which they found distressing and caused gender dysphoria, according to the report.

Same-sex marriage opponents called the study a “smoking gun” and argued changing Australian marriage laws would push schools to adopt Safe Schools-style sex-ed programs in classrooms



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