Practice Brief 76

How do we present gender, sex, and sexuality as part of inclusive and accurate science teaching?

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  • -BACKGROUND

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU
  • Science educators should leverage students’ curiosity about human experience to create an inclusive community that supports all kinds of learning and development.
  • District staff & PD providers should explicitly communicate and provide training to help educators, students, and families understand these topics.
  • Administrators should seek out more diverse representations of gender and sexuality across content areas in ways that reflect student and community interest.

What Is The Issue?

Social ideas of gender identity and sexuality overlap with many commonly taught biology topics, including genetics, reproduction, sexual selection, and anatomy and physiology. Most teachers will need to learn more about these topics to address them accurately and inclusively. Educators can help students build more complete views of both science and society by addressing the diversity and fluidity of sex, gender, and sexuality in both human and non-human species. These approaches help support a more full sense of belonging for gender-diverse students in science education and are an important learning focus for all members of society.

Authors:

BY SAM LONG, LEWIS STELLER, & RIVER X. SUH (GENDERINCLUSIVEBIOLOGY.COM) AND KATY BUTLER & KIERAN SLATTERY (GENDER INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS) | JUNE 2021


REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • How did you come to understand gender and sex as a young person? How can you expand your thinking to provide an inclusive education for students?
  • How comfortable or familiar are you with LGBTQ+ terminology? How can you establish foundational language in your classroom while also acknowledging continual changes in language that your students may use in their everyday lives?

Things To Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take

1. 2SLGBTQI+ stands for two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and other gender or sexual minorities. The rest of this tool uses the more common LGBTQ+, with the understanding that the “+” in this acronym represents a huge variety of identities.



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