Educating the Public about the Other Genders
Issues about and segregation have been dragging all the institutions, particularly schools and the workplace, over time (Blackwell, 2003; Albelda, 1986; Anker, 1998; Peace, 2003; Lester, 2008). At first, these issues were merely between men and women.
Now, there are other genders claiming for equality with the two socially accepted genders. Unequal opportunities, violence, and social injustices against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) are still subjects of other gender’s struggle nowadays (Sloan & Gustavsson, 1998).
In addition, a number of arguments about lesbian and gay parenting, same-sex marriage and other familial rights tend to intensify other genders’ claim for equality, whereas in lesbian and gay parenting, the society is questioning their capability of serving as a role model of children at home (Hicks, 2008; Clarke, 2001; Hicks & McDermott, 1999; Nicol & Smith, 2008; Ghoshal, 2009).
Gender critics and gender sensitive organizations are lobbying that if only the public has been educated regarding the existence and concerns of LGBT, then inequality and violence against these populations will be lessened and will be eradicated, if possible.
The Other Genders
Initially, there were two socially accepted genders: men and women. Now lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender are claiming acceptance from the society. Many psychological, biological and medical studies are conducted to explain and analyze the other manifestations of sexuality among the two primary genders (men and women), yet the most widely accepted analysis is that of Robert J. Stoller which argued that,
A person’s physical sexual attributes, mental attitudes and objects of desire could “vary independently of one another”; so that “a man with predominantly male characteristics and also masculine in his erotic life may still be inverted in respect to his object, loving only men instead of women” (cited in Glover, 2002).
Such statement explains the psychological cases of LGBT; even if they possess the physical sexual attributes these populations tend to think and act the other way contradictory of what is expected of them being a man or a woman. School Curriculum and Gender Studies
The growing numbers of LGBT at young age (10 years old and below) alarmed many institutions particularly those concern in education and health care. Gender critics urge the inclusion of a gender-sensitive curriculum in all education institutions since most of the national school curricula manifests gender inequalities which uphold a “hegemonic male” dominance within a State and around the world (Arnot, 2002; Marshall & Arnot, 2008; Peace, 2003).
Previously, the courses being offered in all colleges and universities manifested gender inequality; for instance, there were separate courses for women and for men. Women are now entitled to take men’s courses and vice versa. Moreover, the titles “Baccalaureate” and “Masters Degree” connote the dominance of men in earlier education system.
Also significant in the system of education is the prohibition of women to become school administrator not until the passage of 1972 Title IX of the Education Amendments (Meritz, 2006). It has been identified that the church is responsible for the patriarchal education and to the flight of women and LGBT for acceptance and equality (Pray, 1847). At present, LGBT are seeking their place in education curriculum to avoid gender preference being provided only for men and women.
Homophobia in School and Nursing Environment
There have been claims that education institutions are the best and safe place for LGBT youth, yet most studies conducted found that schools are usually a place of harassment where these populations are often victimized by peers and even by their teachers (Sloan, 1998).
Many researches stated that most teachers and education professionals are not ready to address and affirm the needs of LGBT people; thus, their heterosexual students are likely to show negative attitudes toward the LGBT population (Macgillivray & Jennings, 2008; Blackburn & Donelson 2004; Szalacha, 2004; Robinson & Ferfolja, 2001; Kozik-Rosabal & Macgillivray, 2000; Roffman, 2000; Casper & Schults, 1999; Petrovic, 1998; Maney & Cain, 1997).
Analyzing the trend, studies also discovered that, compared to heterosexual women, heterosexual men are more likely to be prejudiced against LGBT (Herek, 1988; Ratcliff, Lassiter, Markman & Snyder, 2006; Bem, 1993).