Sexuality and Gender Roles Among Students
Gender and sexuality play large roles in defining people, and there are many ways
that they affect the students in schools.
There may be students grappling with their own
sexuality, students may come from families with gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
parents, or some students (as well as perhaps some teachers) may feel that the school
system does not cater to those of either sex.
While many of these factors may not be
taken into consideration, or may even be downright ignored, there are many reasons to
look into the gender and sexuality of students, and how it affects how they learn and
prosper in the classroom.
Using the readings of Michael Kimmel, Ericka Sokolower-
Shain, and Linda & Laurel Lamme, I plan to show how these seemingly “under the
surface” aspects of day-to-day life can affect students’ behavior.
Ericka Sokolower-Shain tells us in her reading, “When the Gender Boxes Don’t
Fit,” of a time when she felt alienated.
“What was supposed to be an easy question, a
throw-away, a way to break the ice before delving into more personal issues, was for me
a question I had been grappling with since elementary school” (Sokolower-Shain, When
the Gender Boxes Don’t Fit, p.32).
It is true that this had happened while she was a
freshman, (p.32) and it is common that by the high school age most students have defined
their gender as male or female.
But there are those students, like Ericka, who don’t feel
comfortable defining themselves as one or the other.
In class we were given a scenario
where a 4
grade boy would often come into class wearing lipstick and carrying a purse,
and for Halloween dressed up as a full princess, dress, tiara and all.
He was laughed at