HOW DO HEALTH EDUCATOR’S PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITTUDES ON HOMOSEXUALITY AFFECT EDUCATION FOR GLBT STUDENTS?
Brandon University (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:The purpose of this paper was to explore diversity issues in education. Specifically, the relationship and similarities that may exist in other minority populations compared to the experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) population within the discipline of education. A literature review was completed that identified various issues for gender minorities. Comparisons were made between other minority groups and GLBT as well as differences between urban and rural settings. A qualitative design was employed for this study and focused on health educator’s perceptions and attitudes on homosexuality with respect to education and health. A focus group was used in this study. Data is utilized from an aggregate report analysis and is based on historical data. Community college administration and instructional staff were interviewed along with a coordinator from a gay and lesbian resource centre to determine existing attitudes and perceptions regarding health education for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.
The major conclusions identified a lack of representation of gay and lesbian persons in curriculum and a prevailing silence on issues specific to this group. Results of these conclusions included difficulty accessing health care and education as well as higher rates of student drop outs, substance abuse, and lack of support systems.
Recommendations suggested further education for instructional staff regarding GLBT issues as well as raising awareness throughout the college. A need was identified for trained counseling personnel in dealing with gender minorities. Efforts to address inclusion for minority groups in all aspects of college life were highly recommended.
Keywords: gender, homosexuality, minority, health care, education.