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.
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