Notice! Care2 will go offline for site maintenance July 28 at 9pm PST. Thanks
START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
760,774 people care about Education

Oakland Lessons on Gender Diversity in Animal Kingdom Under Fire

Oakland Lessons on Gender Diversity in Animal Kingdom Under Fire

Lessons in an Oakland, California school are attempting to introduce ideas of gender variance to children in an age-appropriate way by talking about sex-changing members of the animal kingdom. These have provoked a conservative and so-called “traditional values” legal group to decry the legitimacy of the lessons and warn that such lessons are not wanted because they don’t comport with the majority’s values.

From the San Fransisco Chronicle:

A one-hour elementary school lesson on gender diversity featuring all-girl geckos and transgender clownfish caused a stir in Oakland on Monday, with conservative legal defense organizations questioning the legitimacy of the topic and providing legal counsel to parents who opposed the instruction.

[...]

So, fourth- and fifth-grade students learned about the crazy world of gender within the animal kingdom with lessons about single-sex Hawaiian geckos, fish that switch genders and boy snakes that act “girly.”

“That’s a lot of variation in nature,” Gender Spectrum trainer, Joel Baum, told the students. “Evolution comes up with some pretty funny ways for animals to reproduce.”

And that same kind of diversity applies to people too, said Baum, the education director for the San Leandro nonprofit. For example, some boys can act like girls; some girls can have boy body parts; and some biological boys feel like a girl inside their hearts, he said.

“It turns out that there are not just two options,” he said.

Conservative groups have said that telling kids that there aren’t just two options when it comes to gender is a problem, with Pacific Justice Institute attorney Kevin Snider quoted as saying: “This instruction does not represent the values of the majority of families in Oakland.”

Lessons on gender difference amount to just a small part of a much larger effort to create a warm, welcoming and nurturing environment for children, something that Principal Sara Stone said that parents fully supported when asked last year.

Stone says she is also surprised by the amount of attention the media has given the lessons, presumably because the lessons are just stating biological facts about sex characteristics in the animal kingdom and saying, in age appropriate terms, how gender variance might present in human beings.

Parents were also told about the program a few weeks beforehand, though they can’t opt-out under California law. The Chronicle notes that only a few parents said they would want to keep their children at home because of the program.

I find opposition to this program rather overinflated and ill-conceived. Facts surrounding sex-variant animals and gender variance in human beings remain facts regardless of “values” and they can not be changed to suit the temperament of a few dissenting voices that, at any rate, the aforementioned legal group seems to be actively courting in order to presumably cobble together either an informal challenge or a legal one.

Regardless, so long as these lessons are provided in an age-appropriate manner, there seems little to object to, which is probably why the majority of parents have so far raised no issue with the scheme.

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to sroemerm.

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

62 comments

+ add your own
4:03PM PDT on Jul 27, 2013

So, let me get this straight, if I lived in an area of the world that still believes the earth is flat, then my children shouldn't be taught, in school, that the world is round because it would go against the values of the people who live there? I thought school was about introducing scientifically-corroborated ideas for reasoning and discussion; not about introducing ideas that only "represent the values of families" of said area.

5:47AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

This is a lesson for all

7:37AM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

their thing is "it happens in nature, so it is good and ok" those bonobos seem to engage in pedophilia to calm nerves. so is it ok for a 30 year old to be in a relationship with a 16 year old? i think stoats impregnate young stotes, being a mustilid (famous for delayed implantation) the female can get auto pregnant when she reaches maturity.

8:09AM PDT on May 31, 2011

So now we have to change wild nature to meet some narrow view of 'right'? What is, is and disapproving won't change it in nature.

12:32AM PDT on May 30, 2011

thanks

6:55AM PDT on May 28, 2011

I dont see what the big deal is its the natural way of things kids should be allowed to know these things in order to understand them better

1:01AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Thanks for the article.

12:39PM PDT on May 27, 2011

Is that all we think about these days?SEX? Whatever! Ther is a LOT more to life than sex! Yes we know...I have know that anamils chage sexes to survive and there are those like tha earth worm that are asexual...they do it all themseves...big deal..it is the way it is...last I checked a man cannot become a woman by just thinking about it or by a change in his enviroment.....am I missing something?

6:03AM PDT on May 27, 2011

forgot to ad they should of broght up the psudophalus of hyena and the over sized spiny clitoris of the fossa, it even has a bone like male animals may have.
and when they get older breeding strategy of a stoat that might include mating with immature stoat due t delayed implantation

some girls have a penis and some men like children

oops don't forget sex play in young animals!

5:46AM PDT on May 27, 2011

yes, because the breeding stragity of the animal kingdom can be so applied to humans.

like guys who act like girls do it to trick the other men and get the girl. or did the nature show lie to me, and garders smell like females so they can have a gay orgy?

or about all female species, or how animals switch SEX because of population dynamics.
trans people don't do it "because there are to many men in my social circule. I must turn into a female that has working organs so there are some females"

or is "look animals do it to. so it is natrual" just their message? and not the reason.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

We have quite an issue with HIV in the retirement communities here. This would be a great way to insure…

We altered the ocean, and the jellyfish found the conditions favorable, at least in the short term. …

I have never try eating jellyfish... I guess I will ask around. I am curious what it taste like...

meet our writers

Steve Williams Steve Williams is a passionate supporter of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights, human... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.