The Australian, by Rebecca Urban.
Student teachers are being schooled in gender studies, including the contentious idea that gender and sexuality are socially constructed and changeable, sparking concerns about the topic’s rising influence in classrooms.
Universities, including Sydney, the Queensland University of Technology, Wollongong and Melbourne’s La Trobe, all offer units of study focusing on gender and sexual diversity, gender and social justice or sexuality education for teachers.
The subjects are available to those studying early childhood education as well as primary and secondary teaching courses.
The revelation comes in the wake of ongoing controversy around the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, which critics argue is steeped in gender theory, as well as the emergence of a respectful relationships curriculum in schools, which promotes a feminist view that inequality in opposite-sex relationships is at the core of family violence.
The University of Sydney’s elective unit, called Young People, Sex and Sexual Health, is offered to teaching students and promises to foster a “new view of the ways in which the sexual identities of young people are often constructed from outside influences”.
“Still not quite sure what all the letters in LGBTPPQQIIAA stand for or why it’s really important to know them?”, says a brochure promoting the unit. “Wonder no more — in this unit you will learn why issues of sex, sexuality and sexual health for young people are considered ‘difficult and contested knowledge’ and how institutions go about dealing with this.”
The semester-long unit cites the work of US comedian turned social justice activist Sam Killerman and provocative sex educator Janet Hardy, who identifies as a “girl fag” (a gay man in a woman’s body) and promotes gender fluidity. Among the list of suggested readings is a TedX lecture given by Killerman, who claims “gender is something we all learn about as kids, but we learn a very limited concept about a concept that’s truly unlimited”.
“The biological characteristics of sex you’re born with don’t really have any mandate on who you’ll grow up to be,” he says.