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'It's about protocols and decorums' : governing queer student sexualities in schools as a human rights issue


Dwyer, AE, 'It's about protocols and decorums' : governing queer student sexualities in schools as a human rights issue, Proceedings of Activating Human Rights and Peace Conference, 1-4 July 2008, Byron Bay, pp. 174-182. ISBN 978-0-9804980-5-9 (2008) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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This paper will explore schools' governance of queer student sexualities as a human rights issue in relation to how romantic relationships are heterosexualised in schools. Even though schools are typically spaces in which romantic desires are 'properly' expunged, heterosexual relationships are so taken for granted that they are situated as a normal, basic human right. School staff consider them as a more proper way of doing romantic relationships in schooling contexts than same sex relationships. The paper argues that in doing this, schools perpetuate the idea that same sex relationships are abnormal and in need of 'proper' control and regulation. It explores how heterosexual relationships have become so normalised that, although illegal, some schools discriminate against same sex couples and deny same sex attracted young people their human rights and continue to reinforce school spaces as necessarily heterosexual spaces. As an exemplar, the paper will engage with the decision by a private boys school in Brisbane, Queensland, to disallow gay students to bring their male partners to a school formal in April 2008. The paper concludes with a call for more explicit school staff training and further research on how these forms of discrimination are enacted in schools.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:queer youth, heteronormative schooling, human rights, queer young people, gay school ban
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Critical approaches to crime
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Gender and sexualities
UTAS Author:Dwyer, AE (Dr Angela Dwyer)
ID Code:106774
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-02-19
Last Modified:2016-03-02
Downloads:199 View Download Statistics

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