UK: Why we need inclusive sex education now

Emily Bashforth "I'm a shy, introverted Feminist who thinks more than she says but who feels passionately about having a positive impact on the world and creating an equal, peaceful future for all. I take great pride in unashamedly speaking out times of injustice and feel strongly especially when it comes to LGBTQ+ and women's rights." 

School is the institution which teaches children valuable life skills such as reading, writing, how to make friends and respect others, but it also ought to be the place where children are taught about relationships and sex.

Many schools have good quality sex education for older students. However, generally, schools lack in inclusive sex education and often exclude the LGBTQ+ community from it completely. In the eyes of the government, compulsory sex education consists of teaching children about the biological and reproductive aspects of sex, automatically disregarding the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ students have the right to learn about sex in the same way as their cis, heterosexual counterparts.

Mandatory LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education would create a safer, more accepting environment for LGBTQ+ students to live in. Many LGBTQ+ teenagers grow up feeling inadequate and as if their sexuality is something to be ashamed of because it isn’t the “norm.” Therefore, by acknowledging the existence of queer students, schools can reassure them that their feelings are natural and valid. It would make them feel supported and able to see the same future for themselves as they do for everyone else.

With time, this may give LGBTQ+ students the confidence to come out or open up to a loved one about any confusion they may feel. Students remain in the closet either out of fear or because they haven’t fully connected with their own identity yet so, by not including LGBTQ+ youths in the sex education agenda, schools are depriving their kids of information which may be of direct relevance to them.

In turn, inclusive sex ed would teach non-LGBTQ+ students about the existence of the LGBTQ+ community, taking a step in the right direction on the world’s journey to combatting ignorance. It would encourage students to see those who are LGBTQ+ as their equals and educate them about LGBTQ+ relationships. Those not part of the community are often completely clueless about what sex means for an LGBTQ+ person.

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