Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Rough Draft: Introduction. MPA.
It is often said that our nations schools become the battleground for many, if not most, controversial issues surrounding our societal values, ideals and morals. Whether it is a battle over a few words in the pledge of allegiance, a disagreement over parenting styles or the repercussions of an economic downfall, schools generally feel things first. The issue of homosexuality does not evade this inevitable confrontation for the mere fact it has become so prevalent in our social conscious and has of recent been an issue—specifically when it comes to gay marriage— that has dominated our news media. As gay marriage has become legal in several states, the question arises as to whether or not educators should include curriculum pertaining to homosexuality in school sexual education programs. This is to argue that if heterosexuality is commonly taught in schools where does homosexuality fit into the equation, if at all? To this extent, if it is included in our schools sexual education programs, what exactly is included? The issue ushers in a plethora of opinions—many strong and deeply rooted in personal value and tradition. There is no option of skirting the issue. The fact is, homosexuality has entered our social conversation in an unprecedented way therefore directing our attention to its treatment in schools. Each side of the argument is framed in a distinctly different way, presenting itself to two audiences with dissimilar backgrounds—one generally conservative in nature, the other more liberal. While it is often counter productive to dive into a polarized form of argument, the stylized performances of those in support of introducing homosexuality in schools and those not in favor do tend to target a specific demographic with specific beliefs. There are two implied audiences for each side of the argument. While demonstrating itself in our schools, the issue of normalizing and educating individuals about homosexuality in mainstream culture gives rise to a larger societal issue of acceptance and whether or not a higher degree of acceptance should be taught.