Progressive sexuality education and public schooling

Some progressive preconceptions that frame sexuality education in Australian public schools include the following:

  • Sexuality education needs to be evidence based;
  • Sexuality education needs to promote sexual autonomy in order to ensure that young people are able to act as self-governing sexual subjects;
  • Sexuality education is responsible for the cultivation of tolerance of sexual and gender diversity; and,
  • Sexuality education in public education precludes discussion of the intersections between faith, religion and morality (such conversations should happen in private settings family, church, mosque, temple).

The constitution of progressive sexuality education effectively plays into the hands of religious and political conservatives who seek to constitute sexuality education and public schooling as entirely devoid of religion, values and morality. How might dropping the progressive tag, and thinking differently about the relationship between faith, cultural difference and sexuality change contemporary imaginings of sexuality education? In pursuing this inquiry Rasmussen hopes to provoke dialogue about how sexuality education within public schools can better address values, and cultural and religious differences that necessarily inform young peoples, teachers and parents' imaginings of sexuality, relationships and sexual health.