Background: The prevailing sex education (SE) model falls within a neoliberal prevention- and risk-oriented paradigm. This model ignores the identity dimension of sexuality, is based on the cis-heteronormative and ethnocentric matrix and stigmatizes sexual and cultural diversity; this has significant consequences for sexually and culturally diverse adolescents and youth. In this study, we explored the potential of the identity dimension of SE to prevent violence toward sexual and cultural diversity. Specifically, our objective was to identify the influence of heteronormative and ethnocentric variables on violence exerted against trans* and gender-diverse people and people from minority ethnic groups. Methods: A total of 623 Spanish adolescents with a mean age of 14.73 years and an age range of 13 to 18 years participated in the study. Students completed a questionnaire that included measures regarding violence toward sexual and cultural diversity, gender stereotypes, sexist attitudes and rejection of sexual and cultural diversity. We performed two hierarchical linear regression models. Results: Students who exerted the highest amount of violence toward trans* and gender-diverse people were those who showed the lowest endorsement of expressive traits and the highest endorsement of instrumental traits as well as the highest level of hostile sexist, heteronormative and hostile racist attitudes (the five predictor variables explained 29.1% of the variance of gender-bashing). These same variables—except expressiveness—and benevolent sexism explained 46.1% of the variance of rejection of minority ethnic groups. Conclusions: There is a need for a comprehensive, intercultural, critical and queer SE aimed at transforming the classroom into a space that promotes social transformation through an educational practice that is transgressive and critical of cis-heteronormativity and normative ethnocentrism.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited