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Open AccessArticle

Exploring the Intersections of the Convention on the Rights of the Child General Principles and Diverse Sexes, Genders and Sexualities in Education

1
School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
2
School of Teacher Education and Leadership, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(9), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8090260
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 28 August 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 10 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood and Society)
Using a rights framework underpinned by the general principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child of; best interests, participation/respect for the child’s views, non-discrimination and life, survival and development, this paper outlines four key tensions for rights realisation in the context of diverse sexes, genders and sexualities in education. Children are commonly acknowledged as being more knowledgeable than previous generations about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Gender and sexuality are relevant in young people’s daily lives as the Western world is increasingly acknowledging children’s exposure, access and awareness to such knowledge. Even so, diverse sexes, genders and sexualities are still largely considered taboo and controversial in formal schooling contexts. Emerging tensions in contemporary education practices related to diverse sexes, genders and sexualities due to pervading opinions about its appropriateness need interrogation and discussion. Conceptualisations of childhood innocence and heteronormativity are used to analyse tensions between the Convention and the reality of the complexities involved in actualising children’s rights in this context of diversity. Through its general principles, a way forward is offered to value and embrace the rights of children to learn about diversity in safe and inclusive educational environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: child rights; sexuality education; United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); best interests; non-discrimination; participation; development; right to life; education; general principles child rights; sexuality education; United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); best interests; non-discrimination; participation; development; right to life; education; general principles
MDPI and ACS Style

Gillett-Swan, J.; van Leent, L. Exploring the Intersections of the Convention on the Rights of the Child General Principles and Diverse Sexes, Genders and Sexualities in Education. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 260.

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