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Towards expansive and inclusive relationship and sex education: young disabled LGBT+ people's ideas for change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Relationship and sex education (RSE) in the UK continues to be overshadowed by the ideology of Section 28 (Local Government Act). Although repealed 18 years ago, the Act has created an atmosphere of uncertainty and confusion regarding what is included in RSE. Equating teaching with promotion has legitimised phobia based upon sexuality and gender identity, mainly through the absence of discussion regarding LGBT+. LGBT+ identities are positioned as non-normative, as they are erased within a heteronormative education system. Simultaneously, disabled young people are often excluded from RSE due to ableism, which denies disabled people sexuality or gender identities. This area of education is seen either as not required or not delivered in a way which is accessible and meaningful to the lives of disabled young people. This chapter foregrounds the experiences of a group of young disabled LGBT+ people who were in education. It explores their experiences in relation to RSE and presents their thoughts upon how education can become inclusive and why such inclusion is vital to their well-being. We propose an inclusive whole-school approach including disabled LGBT+ lives and histories in order to affirm identities, whilst ensuring RSE is accessible and meets the needs of disabled people. Including disabled and/or LGBT+ lives within all subjects across the curriculum resists heteronormativity and disablism and normalises disabled LGBT+ lives in line with wider society. We call for expansive and inclusive education, as this leads to equality rather than mere acceptance, and can lead to improvements and change in educational cultures, systems, structures and policies, and hopefully wider societal attitudes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationYoung Disabled and LGBT+ Voices, Identities and Intersections
EditorsAlex Toft, Anita Franklin
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter13
Pages213-227
Number of pages15
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-19845-8
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-18814-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Gender and Society
PublisherRoutledge

Related information

Relations Get citation (various referencing formats)

ID: 22172504