Sexualities at School

In Western culture, public schools institutionalize practices of heterosexism, sexism, and homophobia. While schools are often positioned as institutions that work to eradicate various forms of inequality, they often perpetuate sexual inequality through formal and informal institutional practices. Public schools have often been studied as gendered environments, but they have less often been regarded as sexual institutions (especially in the primary grades). Sexual knowledges, practices, and identities are produced and regulated by schools through formal and informal pedagogical practices, school disciplinary codes, school rituals, and the rights afforded students.


Formal educational practices regarding sexuality are shaped by heteronormativity, or the assumption that heterosexuality is normal and natural and entails enacting stereotypical masculine and feminine identities. Although it is not the only place where students learn ...

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