Tip Sheet: Gender, Sexuality, & Inclusive Sex Education

Date: November 14, 2016

Assuming someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation based on how they look, assuming that all young people are only attracted to the “opposite” gender, teaching that there are only opposite genders (boys and girls, and ignoring others). These are all examples where sex education may make youth of different identities, genders, or orientations not feel included. These assumptions relate to several areas of people’s identities and experiences, including sex, sexual orientation, sexual behavior, gender roles, gender identity, and gender expression (see definitions and distinctions, below). Inclusive sex education means a change both in thinking and in language for these identities and experiences.

This tip sheet reviews key concepts and definitions, tips for being more inclusive, and frequently asked questions regarding gender, sexuality, and sex education.

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Citation: Cortes, N., Eisler, A., & Desiderio, G. (2016). Tip sheet: Gender, sexuality, and sex education. Baltimore: Healthy Teen Network.

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