‘They're just not mature right now’: teachers' complicated perceptions of gender and anti-queer bullying

Marilyn J. Preston, Grand Valley State University

Original Citation

Preston, M. J. (2015). They're just not mature right now’: Teachers' complicated perceptions of gender and anti-queer bullying. Sex Education, 16(1), 22-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2015.1019665


Sexuality education teachers in the USA are often the only officially sanctioned voice in schools charged with teaching students about sexuality and gender. This paper considers the ways in which sexuality education teachers conceptualise gender and anti-queer bullying in order to explore the ways in which teachers understand their own role in the systems of power that lead to gender policing and anti-queer bullying. The study finds that teachers' notions of gender are often linked to essentialist and stereotypical notions of sex and that their beliefs about anti-queer bullying reinforce problematic discourses that dismiss bullying as immature and silence queer potentials for young people.