The implementation of inclusive educational programs regarding sexual and emotional intelligence has sparked great debate across Europe and North America. Last September, the Education on Emotional and Sexual Relationship Education system (EVRAS) was almost unanimously adopted by the Belgian government. The EVRAS program mandates that teachers must provide an academic course on emotional, relational, and sexual education to children over the age of 11. In response, there have been violent protests, vandalism, and arson in schools throughout Belgium. In Saskatchewan, Canada, protests have also taken place with the aim of excluding inclusive sexuality education programmes in schools1. Despite these violent events, they remind us of the importance, if not the necessity, of maintaining and enriching sexual education programmes. The articles listed below aim to convey that the very lack of, or reduced knowledge of,sexual education in schools is related to more hostile environments for minorities, including sexual and gender minorities. Comprehensive sexual education programmes are tailored to be age-specific for children, allowing instructors not to "oversexualize" the student, but rather provide scientifically verified information that equips students to make informed choices concerning their emotional and intimate relationships.
Baams, L., Dubas, J. S. & van Aken, M. A. G. (2017). Comprehensive Sexuality Education as a Longitudinal Predictor of LGBTQ Name-Calling and Perceived Willingness to Intervene in School. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(5), 931-942. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0638-z
Elia, J. P. & Eliason, M. J. (2010). Dangerous Omissions: Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage School-Based Sexuality Education and the Betrayal of LGBTQ Youth. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 5(1), 17-35. https://doi.org/10.1080/15546121003748848
Epps, B., Markowski, M. & Cleaver, K. (2021). A Rapid Review and Narrative Synthesis of the Consequences of Non-Inclusive Sex Education in UK Schools on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Young People. The Journal of School Nursing, 39(1), 87-97. https://doi.org/10.1177/10598405211043394
Gegenfurtner, A. & Gebhardt, M. (2017). Sexuality education including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues in schools. Educational Research Review, 22, 215-222. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2017.10.002
Gowen, L. K. & Winges-Yanez, N. (2014). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Youths' Perspectives of Inclusive School-Based Sexuality Education. The Journal of Sex Research, 51(7), 788-800. https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2013.806648
Hobaica, S., Schofield, K. & Kwon, P. (2019). “Here’s Your Anatomy…Good Luck”: Transgender Individuals in Cisnormative Sex Education. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 14(3), 358-387. https://doi.org/10.1080/15546128.2019.1585308
Jarpe-Ratner, E. (2020). How can we make LGBTQ+-inclusive sex education programmes truly inclusive? A case study of Chicago Public Schools’ policy and curriculum. Sex Education, 20(3), 283-299. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2019.1650335
Meadows, E. (2018). Sexual Health Equity in Schools: Inclusive Sexuality and Relationship Education for Gender and Sexual Minority Students. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 13(3), 297-309. https://doi.org/10.1080/15546128.2018.1431988
Roberts, C., Shiman, L. J., Dowling, E. A., Tantay, L., Masdea, J., Pierre, J., Lomax, D. & Bedell, J. (2020). LGBTQ+ students of colour and their experiences and needs in sexual health education: ‘You belong here just as everybody else’. Sex Education, 20(3), 267-282. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2019.1648248
Trudell, B. (2017). Doing sex education: Gender politics and schooling. Taylor & Francis.
Quinlivan, K. (2018). Exploring contemporary issues in sexuality education with young people: Theories in practice. Springer.
Lee, C. (2023). Inclusive relationships, sex and health education: Why the moral panic? Management in Education, 37(2), 107-112. https://doi.org/10.1177/08920206211016453
Flores, D., Kornides, M. & Meanley, S. (2023). Inclusive and Age-Appropriate Timing of Sexual Health Discussions at Home According to Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Adolescent Males. Journal of Adolescent Health, 72(5), 754-762. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.12.015