My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect)

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At the state and federal levels, policy makers recently have funded new initiatives aimed at expanding early childhood education Barnett et al. Over the past several years, the number of states offering some form of publicly funded prekindergarten program has risen to 39, and after slight dips during the Great Recession of , within-state funding of these programs has been increasing Barnett et al.

Department of Education, ; U. Department of Health and Human Services, Low-income children and families have been aided as well in recent years by increased economic support from government in the form of both cash benefits e. Department of Education, the Foundation for Child Development, the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine empanel a committee to conduct a study to examine the state of the science with respect to parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices tied to positive parent-child interactions and child outcomes and strategies for supporting them among parents of young children ages The purpose of this study was to provide a roadmap for the future of parenting and family support policies, practices, and research in the United States.

The committee was asked to assess the evidence and then make recommendations whose implementation would promote wide-scale adoption of effective strategies for enabling the identified knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Given the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of the study task, the member committee comprised individuals with an array of expertise, including child development, early childhood education, developmental and educational psychology, child psychiatry, social work, family engagement research, pediatric medicine, public and health policy, health communications, implementation science, law, and economics see Appendix D for biosketches of the committee members.

Conceptions of who parents are and what constitute the best conditions for raising children vary widely. From classic anthropological and human development perspectives, parenting often is defined as a primary mechanism of socialization, that is, a primary means of training and preparing children to meet the demands of their environments and take advantage.

As Bornstein , p. Young chil-. Conversely, young children who do not become securely attached with a primary caregiver e. Bradley and Corwyn characterize the goals of these investments as helping children successfully regulate biological, cognitive, and social-emotional functioning. Parents possess different levels and quality of access to knowledge that can guide the formation of their parenting attitudes and practices.

As discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2 , the parenting practices in which parents engage are influenced and informed by their knowledge, including facts and other information relevant to parenting, as well as skills gained through experience or education. Attitudes may be part of a set of beliefs shared within a cultural group and founded in common experiences, and they often direct the transformation of knowledge into practice.

Parenting also is shaped by the availability of supports within the larger community and provided by institutions, as well as by policies that affect the availability of supportive services. Along with the multiple sources of parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices and their diversity among parents, it is important to acknowledge the diverse influences on the lives of children. Children themselves are perhaps the most essential contributors to their own development.

Thus, the science of parenting is framed within the theoretical perspective that parenting unfolds in particular contexts; is embedded in a network of relationships within and outside of the family; and is fluid and continuous, changing over time as children and parents grow and develop. In addition, it is important to recognize that parenting affects not only children but also parents themselves.

As attention to early childhood development has increased over the past 20 years, so, too, has attention to those who care for young children. A recent Institute of Medicine and National Research Council report on the early childhood workforce Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, illustrates the heightened focus not only on whether young children have opportunities to be exposed to healthy environments and supports but also on the people who provide those supports.

Indeed, an important responsibility of parents is identifying those who will care for their children in their absence. Throughout its deliberations, the committee considered several questions relevant to its charge: What knowledge and attitudes do parents of young children bring to the task of parenting? How are parents engaged with their young children, and how do the circumstances and behaviors of both parents and children influence the parent-child relationship?

What types of support further enhance the natural resources and skills that parents bring to the parenting role?


How do parents function and make use of their familial and community resources? What policies and resources at the local, state, and federal levels assist parents? What practices do they expect those resources to reinforce, and from what knowledge and attitudes are those practices derived? On whom or what do they rely in the absence of those resources?

What serves as an incentive for participation in parenting programs? How are the issues of parenting different or the same across culture and race? This research has provided a more nuanced understanding of the importance of investments in early childhood and parenting. Moreover, advances in analyses of epigenetic effects on early brain development demonstrate consequences of parenting for neural development at the level of DNA, and suggest indirect consequences of family conditions such as poverty that operate on early child development, in part, through the epigenetic consequences of parenting Lipinia and Segretin, This report comes at a time of flux in public policies aimed at supporting parents and their young children.

As noted above, for example, the number of children living in deep poverty has grown since the mids Sherman and Trisi, The risk of growing up poor continues to be particularly high for children in female-headed households; in , approximately 55 percent of children under age 6 in such households lived at or below the poverty threshold, compared with 10 percent of children in married couple families DeNavas-Walt and Proctor, Also noteworthy is that child care policy, including the recent increases in funding for low-income families, ties child care subsidies to employment.

Unemployed parents out of school are not eligible, and job loss results in subsidy loss and, in turn, instability in child care arrangements for young children Ha et al. As noted earlier, this report also comes at a time of rapid change in the demographic composition of the country. This change necessitates new understandings of the norms and values within and among groups, the ways in which recent immigrants transition to life in the United States, and the approaches used by diverse cultural and ethnic communities to engage their children during early childhood and utilize institutions that offer them support in carrying out that role.

The United States now has the largest absolute number of immigrants in its history Grieco et al. Census Bureau, , and the proportion of foreign-born residents today As of , 25 percent of children ages in the United States had at least one immigrant parent, compared with Immigrants to the United States vary in their countries of origin, their reception in different communities, and the resources available to them. Researchers increasingly have called attention to the wide variation not only among but also within immigrant groups, including varying premigration histories, familiarity with U.

In many cases, community-level changes have overwhelmed the capacity of local child care providers and health service workers to respond to the language barriers and cultural parenting practices of the newly arriving immigrant groups, particularly if they have endured trauma. For example, many U. Immigrants often bring valuable social and human capital to the United States, including unique competencies and sociocultural strengths.

Indeed, many young immigrant children display health and learning outcomes better than those of children of native-born parents in similar socioeconomic positions Crosnoe, At the same time, however, children with immigrant parents are more likely than children in native-born families to grow up poor Hernandez et al. Census Bureau, Over this same time, the percentage of non-Hispanic white children under age 10 declined from 60 percent to 52 percent, while the percentage of Hispanic ethnicity of any race grew from about 19 percent to 25 percent U.

The above-noted shifts in the demographic landscape with regard to family structure, including increases in divorce rates and cohabitation, new types of parental relationships, and the involvement of grandparents and other relatives in the raising of children Cancian and Reed, ; Fremstad and Boteach, , have implications for how best to support families. Between and , the percentage of children under age 18 who lived with two married parents biological, nonbiological, or adoptive decreased from approximately 85 percent to 64 percent.

In , 8 percent of children lived in households headed by single mothers; by , that figure had tripled to about 24 percent Child Trends Databank, b ; U. Meanwhile, the proportions of children living with only their fathers or with neither parent with either relatives or non-relatives have remained relatively steady since the mids, at about 4 percent see Figure Black children are significantly more likely to live in households headed by single mothers and also are more likely to live in households where neither parent is present.

In , 34 percent of black. From to , the number of cohabiting couples with children rose from 1. Moreover, data from the National Health Interview Survey show that in , 30, children under age 18 had married same-sex parents and , had unmarried same-sex parents, and between 1. More families than in years past rely on kinship care full-time care of children by family members other than parents or other adults with whom children have a family-like relationship. When parents are unable to care for their children because of illness, military deployment, incarceration, child abuse, or other reasons, kinship care can help cultivate familial and community bonds, as well as provide children with a sense of stability and belonging Annie E.

Casey Foundation, ; Winokur et al. It is estimated that the number of children in kinship care grew six times the rate of the number of children in the general population over the past decade Annie E. Casey Foundation, In , 7 percent of children lived in households headed by grandparents, as compared with 3 percent in Child Trends Databank, b , and as of , about 10 percent of American children lived in a household where a grandparent was present Ellis and Simmons, Black children are twice as likely as the overall population of children to live in kinship arrangements, with about 20 percent of black children spending time in kinship care at some point.

Beyond kinship care, about , U. Of the total number of children in foster care, 7 percent are under age 1, 33 percent are ages , and 23 percent are ages Child Trends Databank, c. Other information about the structure of American families is more difficult to come by. For example, there is a lack of data with which to assess trends in the number of children who are raised by extended family members through informal arrangements as opposed to through the foster care system. As noted earlier, fathers, including biological fathers and other male caregivers, have historically been underrepresented in parenting research despite their essential role in the development of young children.

Young children with involved and nurturing fathers develop better linguistic and cognitive skills and capacities, including academic readiness, and are more emotionally secure and have better social connections with peers as they get older Cabrera and Tamis-LeMonda, ; Harris and Marmer, ; Lamb, ; Pruett, ; Rosenberg and Wilcox, ; Yeung et al. Conversely, children with disengaged fathers have been found to be more likely to develop behavioral problems Amato and Rivera, ; Ramchandani et al.

In two-parent families, 16 percent of fathers were stay-at-home parents in , compared with 10 percent in ; 21 percent of these fathers stayed home specifically to care for their home or family, up from 5 percent in Livingston, At the same time, however, fewer fathers now live with their biological children because of increases in nonmarital childbearing U.

In addition, as alluded to earlier, parents of young children face trans-formative changes in technology that can have a strong impact on parenting and family life Collier, Research conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows that, relative to other household configurations, married parents with children under age 18 use the Internet and cell phones, own computers, and adopt broadband at higher rates Duggan and Lenhart, Other types of households, however, such as single-parent and unmarried multiadult households, also show high usage of technology, particularly text messaging and social media Smith, Research by the Pew Research Center shows that many parents—25 percent in.

At the same time, however, parents also are saturated with information and faced with the difficulty of distinguishing valid information from fallacies and myths about raising children Aubrun and Grady, ; Center on Media and Human Development, ; Dworkin et al. Given the number and magnitude of innovations in media and communications technologies, parents may struggle with understanding the optimal use of technology in the lives of their children. Despite engagement with Internet resources, parents still report turning to family, friends, and physicians more often than to online sources such as Websites, blogs, and social network sites for parenting advice Center on Media and Human Development, And although the relationship between media use and childhood obesity is challenging to disentangle, studies have found that children who spend more time with media are more likely to be overweight than children who do not see Chapter 2 Bickham et al.

The benefits of the information age have included reduced barriers to knowledge for both socially advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Yet despite rapidly decreasing costs of many technologies e. A digital divide also exists between single-parent and two-parent households, as the cost of a computer and monthly Internet service can be more of a financial burden for the former families, which on average have lower household incomes Allen and Rainie, ; Dworkin et al.

The committee conducted an extensive review of the scientific literature pertaining to the questions raised in its statement of task Box It did not undertake a full review of all parenting-related studies because it was tasked with providing a targeted report that would direct stakeholders to best practices and succinctly capture the state of the science.

Additional literature and other resources were identified by committee members and project staff using traditional academic research methods and online searches. The committee focused its review on research published in peer-reviewed journals and books including individual studies, review articles, and meta-analyses , as well as reports issued by government agencies and other organizations. In reviewing the literature and formulating its conclusions and recommendations, the committee considered several, sometimes competing, dimensions of empirical work: internal validity, external validity, practical significance, and issues of implementation, such as scale-up with fidelity Duncan et al.

With regard to internal validity , the committee viewed random-assignment experiments as the primary model for establishing cause- and-effect relationships between variables with manipulable causes e. Given the relatively limited body of evidence from experimental studies in the parenting literature, however, the committee also considered findings from quasi-experimental studies including those using regression discontinuity, instrumental variables, and difference-in-difference techniques based on natural experiments Duncan et al.

These include longitudinal studies and limited cross-sectional studies. When there are different sources of evidence, often with some differences in estimates of the strength of the evidence, the committee used its collective experience to integrate the information and draw reasoned conclusions. With regard to external validity , the committee attempted to take into account the extent to which findings can be generalized across population groups and situations. This entailed considering the demographic, socioeconomic, and other characteristics of study participants; whether variables were assessed in the real-world contexts in which parents and children live e.

However, the research literature is limited in the extent to which generalizations across population groups and situations are examined. With regard to practical significance , the committee considered the magnitude of likely causal impacts within both an empirical context i. As discussed elsewhere in this report, however, the committee found limited economic evidence with which to draw conclusions about investing in interventions at scale or to weigh the costs and benefits of interventions. See the discussion of other information-gathering activities below.

Chapter 3 - Mental health and human rights – Parliament of Australia

Also with respect to practical significance, the committee considered the manipulability of the variables under consideration in real-world contexts, given that the practical significance of study results depend on whether the variables examined are represented or experienced commonly or uncommonly among particular families Fabes et al.

Finally, the committee took into account issues of implementation , such as whether interventions can be brought to and sustained at scale Durlak and DuPre, ; Halle et al. Experts in the field of implementation science emphasize not only the evidence behind programs but also the fundamental roles of scale-up, dissemination planning, and program monitoring and evaluation.

Scale-up in turn requires attending to the ability to implement adaptive program practices in response to heterogeneous, real-world contexts, while also ensuring fidelity for the potent levers of change or prevention Franks and Schroeder, Thus, the committee relied on both evidence on scale-up, dissemination, and sustainability from empirically based programs and practices that have been implemented and. Although each of these databases is unique with respect to its history, sponsors, and objectives NREPP covers mental health and substance abuse interventions, CEBC is focused on evidence relevant to child welfare, and Blueprints describes programs designed to promote the health and well-being of children , all are recognized nationally and internationally and undergo a rigorous review process.

Each has two top categories—optimal and promising—for programs and practices see Appendix B ; see also Burkhardt et al. Given the relatively modest investment in research on programs for parents and young children, however, the array of programs that are highly rated remains modest. For this reason, the committee considered as programs with the most robust evidence not only those included in the top two categories of Blueprints and CEBC but also those with an average rating of 3 or higher in NREPP. In addition, the committee chose to consider findings from research using methodological approaches that are emerging as a source of innovation and improvement.

These approaches are gaining momentum in parent-. Examples are breakthrough series collaborative approaches, such as the Home Visiting Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network to Reduce Infant Mortality, and designs such as factorial experiments that have been used to address topics relevant to this study. The committee held two open public information-gathering sessions to hear from researchers, practitioners, parents, and other stakeholders on topics germane to this study and to supplement the expertise of the committee members see Appendix A for the agendas of these open sessions.

Material from these open sessions is referenced in this report where relevant. Cost is an important consideration for the implementation of parenting programs at scale. Therefore, the committee commissioned a paper reviewing the available economic evidence for investing in parenting programs at scale to inform its deliberations on this portion of its charge. Findings and excerpts from this paper are integrated throughout Chapters 3 through 6.

The committee also commissioned a second paper summarizing evidence-based strategies used by health care systems and providers to help parents acquire and sustain knowledge, attitudes, and practices that promote healthy child development. Lastly, a commissioned paper on evidence-based strategies to support parents of children with mental illness formed the basis for a report section on this population.

In addition, the committee conducted two sets of group and individual semistructured interviews with parents participating in family support programs at community-based organizations in Omaha, Nebraska, and Washington, D. Parents provided feedback on the strengths they bring to parenting, challenges they face, how services for parents can be improved, and ways they prefer to receive parenting information, among other topics. The committee recognized that to a certain degree, ideas about what is considered effective parenting vary across cultures and ecological conditions, including economies, social structures, religious beliefs, and moral values Cushman, To address this variation, and in accordance with its charge, the committee examined research on how core parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices differ by specific characteristics of children, parents, and contexts.

However, because the research on parenting has traditionally underrepresented several populations e. Also, recognizing that nearly every facet of society has a role to play in supporting parents and ensuring that children realize their full potential, the committee reviewed not only strategies designed expressly for parents e.

A Survey of LGBT Americans

As noted earlier in this chapter, this report was informed by a life-course perspective on parenting, given evidence from neuroscience and a range of related research that the early years are a critical period in shaping how individuals fare throughout their lives. A number of principles guided this study. Relational practices are those focused primarily on intervening with families using compassion, active and reflective listening, empathy, and other techniques.

In addition, family-centered practices focused on the context of successful parenting are a key third form of support for parenting. A premise of the committee is that many interventions with the most troubled families and children will require all these types of services—often delivered concurrently over a lengthy period of time. Second, many programs are designed to serve families at particular risk for problems related to cognitive and social-emotional development, health, and well-being.

Early Head Start and Head Start, for example, are means tested and designed for low-income families most of whom are known to face not just one risk factor low income but also others that often cluster together e. Special populations addressed in this report typically are at very high risk because of this exposure to multiple risk factors. Research has shown that children in such families have the poorest outcomes, in some instances reaching a level of toxic stress that seriously impairs their developmental functioning Shonkoff and Garner, Of course, in addition to characterizing developmental risk, it is essential to understand the corresponding adaptive processes and protective factors, as it is the balance of risk and protective factors that determines outcomes.

In many ways, supporting parents is one way to attempt to change that balance. From an intervention point of view, several principles are central. First, intervention strategies need to be designed to have measurable effects over time and to be sustainable. Second, it is necessary to focus on the needs of individual families and to tailor interventions to achieve desired outcomes. The importance of personalized approaches is widely acknowledged in medicine, education, and other areas.

An observation perhaps best illustrated in the section on parents of children with developmental disabilities in Chapter 5 , although the committee believes this approach applies to many of the programs described in this report. A corresponding core principle of intervention is viewing parents as equal partners, experts in what both they and their children need. It is important as well that multiple kinds of services for families be integrated and coordinated. As illustrated earlier. Prevention interventions encompass mental health promotion: universal prevention, defined as interventions that are valuable for all children; selected prevention, aimed at populations at high risk such as children whose parents have mental illness ; and indicated prevention, focused on children already manifesting symptoms.

Treatment interventions include case identification, standard treatment for known disorders, accordance of long-term treatment with the goal of reduction in relapse or occurrence, and aftercare and rehabilitation National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, The committee recognizes that engaging and retaining children and families in parenting interventions are critical challenges.

A key to promoting such engagement may be cultural relevance. Finally, the question of widespread implementation and dissemination of parenting interventions is critically important. Given the cost of testing evidence-based parenting programs, the development of additional programs needs to be built on the work that has been done before. Collectively, interventions also are more likely to achieve a significant level of impact if they incorporate some of the elements of prior interventions. In any case, a focus on the principles of implementation and dissemination clearly is needed.

As is discussed in this report, the committee calls for more study and experience with respect to taking programs to scale. This report is divided into eight chapters. Chapter 2 examines desired outcomes for children and reviews the existing research on parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices that support positive parent-child interactions and child outcomes.

Based on the available research, this chapter identifies a set of core knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Chapter 3 provides a brief overview of some of the major federally funded programs and policies that support parents in the United States. Chapters 4 and 5 describe evidence-based and evidence-informed strategies for supporting parents and enabling the identified knowledge, attitudes, and practices, including universal and widely used interventions Chapter 4 and interventions targeted to parents of children with special needs and parents who themselves face adversities.

Chapter 5. Chapter 7 describes a national framework for supporting parents of young children. Ainsworth, M. Dalisay N.

To Local Officials

Interviews with LGBT students indicate that many teachers fail to intervene when they witness bullying or harassment occurring or it is brought to their attention, even since passage of the Anti-Bullying Law, which in turn discourages students from reporting cases of bullying. But some jokes are below the belt. And as soon as they leave, the bullying happens again. In some instances, teachers and administrators may not have intervened because they had not received proper training or were unsure of their responsibilities.

In one interview, a high-level administrator at a high school in Mandaue City remarked that she had never heard of the Anti-Bullying Law. In schools where LGBT youth lack information and resources, for example, they may struggle more deeply with their sexual orientation or gender identity or be unsure where to turn for help. In schools where policies discriminate against LGBT youth, they may be placed in situations where bullying by peers is likely to occur and may feel administrators are unlikely to help them.

In addition to bullying and harassment, LGBT students encounter various forms of discrimination that make educational environments hostile or unwelcoming. To ensure that all youth feel safe and included in schools, school administrators should examine policies and practices that punish LGBT students for relationships that are considered acceptable for their heterosexual peers, restrict gender expression and access to facilities, and stereotype LGBT youth in a discriminatory manner.

Some students who encountered discrimination in schools reported that they struggled with depression and anxiety. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has emphasized that the right to education, like other rights, must not be limited on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is common practice for secondary schools in the Philippines to require students to wear uniforms.

Under these policies, the attire is gender-specific and the two options, male or female, are typically imposed upon students according to the sex they were assigned at birth. Expand Uniform guidelines for students hang on a wall at a university in Manila, November In addition to clothing, many secondary schools have strict hair-length restrictions for their students, particularly for boys.

Almost all interviewees reported that boys could not grow out their hair past ear-length or dye their hair at their schools, and many also noted that girls were prohibited from wearing their hair shorter than a permissible length. Students whose gender expression differed from the norms associated with their sex assigned at birth told Human Rights Watch how these restrictions impeded their education. Students reported that being forced to dress or present themselves in a manner that was inconsistent with their gender expression made them unhappy [] and uncomfortable, [] lessened their confidence, [] and impaired their concentration.

At many of these schools, students who did not conform to the uniform and hair-length requirements faced disciplinary action. Common punishments included being sent to the guidance or discipline offices and mandatory community service. I might as well have cheated.

For many transgender or gender non-conforming students, the strict uniform and hair-length requirements were sources of intense anxiety and humiliation, and in some cases led to extended school absences and even leaving schooling entirely. Other interviewees reported similar incidents in which teachers or prefects would publicly call out students in violation of the restrictions and forcibly cut their hair in front of the class.

In most cases, teachers and administrators provided little to no explanation for the hair-length requirements when students asked about the policies at their respective schools. As Lyn C. In some instances, students were able to request a full switch of the uniforms according to their gender identity. Even when students are formally permitted to wear the uniforms of their choice, however, school personnel at times harass or humiliate them in practice.


Although this report focuses on secondary schools, many interviewees said they had experienced similar issues with uniform and hair-length restrictions at the university level. According to Danica J. Even in universities without formal uniform or hair-length policies, however, transgender and gender-fluid students sometimes reported harassment or reprisals from teachers, classmates, and administrators when they expressed their gender. Are you not thinking of how others will think about how you dress? The guards are also a headache. However, even after the changes, some students still faced discrimination from teachers.

Several interviewees also told Human Rights Watch that they or their classmates had dropped out of classes or transferred sections at their universities to avoid conflicts with professors who were hostile to transgender students. Certain departments and colleges also tend to have more stringent uniform and hair-length restrictions than their affiliated universities, often forcing transgender students to conform in order to matriculate.

For students who are transgender or identify as a sex other than their sex assigned at birth, rigid gender restrictions can be stressful and make learning difficult. Most interviewees said that their schools required students to use CRs that aligned with their sex assigned at birth, regardless of how they identified or where they were most comfortable. Some said that both female and male CRs posed safety risks or made them uncomfortable, but that all-gender restrooms were scarce.

Requiring students to use restrooms that did not match their gender identity or expression put them at risk of bullying and harassment. Some schools punish students for using the CRs where they felt comfortable. Even students who were not formally punished described being humiliated by faculty and staff policing gendered spaces. Alon B. At least one secondary school has created all-gender CRs that any person can use regardless of their gender identity.

Reyna L. Policies that prevent students from accessing restrooms consistent with their gender identity exist in post-secondary institutions as well. Marisol D. The office of student behavior gave her a minor disciplinary offense. As in secondary schools, university policies that prevent students from accessing facilities on the basis of their gender identity are discriminatory and function to undermine student safety, health, privacy, and the right to education.

Even when students identify as transgender, some teachers and administrators insist on treating them as their sex assigned at birth. David O. Imposing strictly gendered activities and requiring students to participate according to their sex assigned at birth can constitute discrimination and impair the right to education. Human Rights Watch found that some schools require boys to take physical education classes and girls to take arts classes, for example, which reinforces stereotypes and deprives boys who want to pursue art and girls who want to pursue sports of educational opportunities.

As Felix P. Many schools in the Philippines have policies restricting public displays of affection among students, and outline those policies in student handbooks or codes of conduct. In particular, young lesbian and bisexual women and transgender men who attended exclusive schools—those that are only open to one sex—reported that their friendships and relationships were closely scrutinized and policed by school staff.

Angelica R. The same standards were not applied to heterosexual students, as teachers and administrators acknowledged. Even a gay teacher defended this double standard, citing social and religious conventions. Ernesto N. LGBT youth also described the pressure that teachers and administrators imposed on them to act in a stereotypical fashion. Many of the LGBT youth interviewed by Human Rights Watch emphasized that, to the extent they were respected in school, they had earned that respect by being better students than their peers.

Often, this meant that LGBT students were tasked with more work or responsibilities than other students as part of the price they paid to be accepted and respected. Eric Manalastas, a psychology professor at the University of the Philippines who has conducted research on LGBT youth issues, found that:. A lot of my students wanted to excel in whatever they were doing, being artistic, because they wanted to be accepted.

A lot of my gay students were at the top of the class. In interviews, it appeared that many LGBT students had internalized the message that their acceptance as LGBT was conditional on being dutiful, talented members of the school community. Virgil D. Some students were keenly aware of these conditions and expressed frustration with them, voicing a desire to be treated with the same inherent respect as their non-LGBT classmates. He said classmates and teachers:. When students and teachers reinforce these stereotypes, they put pressure on those who do not fit preconceived notions of being gay and constrain their education and employment options.

In an interview with Human Rights Watch, a local government official who had organized a job training program for LGBT people noted that the program specifically trained LGBT people to be clowns and hosts for pageants and other events. Young lesbian women encounter different stereotypes. Not in terms of being violent, but maybe as predatory. These stereotypes were among the most consistent themes in interviews with LGBT youth. They illustrate how attitudes and informal practices, even when well-intentioned, can place heavy expectations on LGBT youth and undermine the notion that all youth are deserving of respect and acceptance.

They underscore the importance of anti-bullying efforts, information and resources, and antidiscrimination policies that emphasize that all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have rights that must be respected in schools. When LGBT students face hostility in their homes, communities, and peer groups, access to affirming information and resources is vitally important. In interviews, however, few LGBT students in the Philippines felt that their schools provided adequate access to information and resources about sexual orientation, gender identity, and being LGBT.

A recent analysis of issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity in the Philippines found that LGBT youth are often neglected in school environments, particularly in light of strong constitutional protections for academic freedom, which give schools considerable leeway to design curricula and resources.

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One study found that, in elementary school textbooks required by DepEd:. Students confirmed that discussions of LGBT people in classes where LGBT issues might arise—for example, history, literature, biology, or psychology—are exceedingly rare. As Leah O. Interviews with teachers and administrators illustrated why LGBT issues are absent from the curriculum. Alon's department chair overheard the conversation and reprimanded him, and relieved him of his teaching load the following semester.

Often, this was the case in values education or religion classes, which were offered in public as well as private schools but often had a strongly Catholic orientation. And who created us? You will no longer go to heaven. And I remember it because it came out of nowhere—we were talking about magnets! Without training teachers about LGBT identities and issues, stereotypes and misinformation spread unchecked. And she said if you would eat a lot of ramen, you turn lesbian. Eating chicken will turn you gay? It would really help if they would undergo training. In discussions about curricular offerings, students of all sexual orientations and gender identities voiced a desire to learn about LGBT topics in school.

As Isabel A. Discussions of LGBT topics in high schools were rare, but occurred more frequently at the university level.

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There, professors who were open to discussing LGBT topics observed how inclusivity improved the educational environment. In order to understand their own sexuality and to make responsible choices, LGBT students, as well as other students, need access to information about sexuality that is non-judgmental and takes into account the whole range of human intimacy. As part of comprehensive sexuality education, LGBT students as well as their heterosexual, cisgender peers should have access to relevant material about their development, relationships, and safer sex.

The passage of the Reproductive Health Law, which calls for DepEd to issue a sexuality education curriculum and for schools to adopt minimum standards, created an opening for accurate and non-judgmental discussions of LGBT identities and sexuality. However, at the time of this writing, DepEd had only recently incorporated sexuality education into school curricula, five years after the passage of the law, without adopting standards developed by a panel of experts or training teachers in sexuality education. In interviews with Human Rights Watch, students who received sexuality education described receiving that education at various grade levels, with varying degrees of comprehensiveness.

But across the board, they stated that their sexuality education classes either excluded any discussion of LGBT people or conveyed inaccurate and stigmatizing messages about same-sex conduct and the existence of transgender people. In virtually all cases, however, sexuality education was limited to discussions of heterosexual reproduction and sex. Mary B. They told us about sexuality—my teacher strongly believes in the Bible, and the idea that God created only men and women. Not deeper than that. And it was all boy-girl.

In many instances, sexuality education conveyed misinformation or disapproval about LGBT identities and relationships. Or say being gay is a sin. When comprehensive sexuality education is not provided in schools, students may not receive information about their physical and emotional development, relationships, decision making, HIV and sexually transmitted infections, safer sex, contraception, and reproductive health at all.

With little guidance at home or in school, LGBT students turned to various sources of uncertain quality for information about sexuality. Students told Human Rights Watch that they had learned what they knew about LGBT identities, relationships, and sexual health from friends, the internet, pornography, and experience. The advent of civil partnerships brought many fundamental legal protections and recognition for same sex couples.

Until then, same sex couples had to make special provision under separate contracts for certain legal statuses, such as the right to name your partner as your next-of-kin. Previously, in medical emergencies the wishes of the couple might have been overridden by a blood relative at the discretion of the hospital staff. Other legal rights covered by the Civil Partnership Act include pension protections although pensions inheritance rights are fewer than for opposite sex couples , inheritance rights, parental rights and immigration rights.

The act addressed cases of surviving same sex partners losing their houses, or couples where partners of different nationalities were separated because they were not allowed to marry. By the end of , over 50, Civil Partnerships had been registered. Apart from some fundamental differences in pension and dissolution arrangements, civil partnerships could be seen as equivalent to heterosexual civil marriages that take place in licensed premises, such as registry offices or licensed hotels. In many ways, it seemed that equality had been achieved.

With the legal aspects of partnerships now addressed, the push for equal marriage appeared unnecessary. Why try and be exactly the same as opposite sex couples? This objection to equal marriage makes the assumption that same sex couples are fundamentally different to opposite sex couples and that this difference means we should have separate marriage ceremonies, one of which will be marriage and one of which will be called something else because it is not really marriage.

But preventing couples who would prefer to be married from doing so only stigmatises those to whom marriage is forbidden. In June , the lesbian couple Susan Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger had their petition heard for their Canadian marriage recognised under British law. Their experiences may have led them to choose marriage or not, to have children or not, but they should be offered the same opportunities in life as their peers.

There is no logical basis to deny some citizens the same marital rights as others based on maintaining difference, whether that is race, gender, ability or sexual orientation. The uneven status of civil partnerships and marriage is the paradigm of separate but equal; equal only in the most reductive sense of what a marriage might be. Justin Welby does not suggest he is against the idea of same sex couples receiving legal protections for their long term committed relationships, just that the term marriage itself is a privilege only heterosexual couples should enjoy.

In this sense, he is arguing against changing the definition of marriage, although as we have seen, the definition of marriage has already changed many times to become what it is today in Britain. Still, the understanding persists that including same sex couples in the definition of marriage is a sudden imposition on the dictionary. Mr Gale appears not to understand that the lexicon is changed through common usage and that reportive definitions reflect social change rather than cause it.

In those countries where equal marriage legislation has already passed, such as France, the dictionary definitions include same sex unions. The Oxford English Dictionary has indicated that it will follow suit if the current usage changes sufficiently. The pace of cultural and social change in Britain can also be identified through the media. The differentiation affects not just the couple but their family and their access to all the familiar shorthand of married and family life that are part of everyday recognition. When Rena and I held our commitment ceremony, we were unofficially invited into the world of stepparents and blended families and there are other important signifiers of married life that matter to same sex couples.

The etymology comes from Old Norse.

My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect) My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect)
My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect) My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect)
My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect) My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect)
My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect) My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect)
My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect) My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect)
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My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect) My Gay Life: Chapter 3 (Cause and Effect)

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