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Gender and Sexualities in Education

A Reader


Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson

This volume is about the education of gender and sexualities, which is to say it explores how gender and sexuality identities and differences get constructed through the process of education and «schooling». Wittingly or not, educational institutions and educators play an important role in «normalizing» gender and sexuality differences by disciplining, regulating, and producing differences in ways that are «intelligible» within the dominant or hegemonic culture. To make gender and sexuality identities and differences intelligible through education is to understand them through the logic of separable binary oppositions (man-woman, straight-gay), and to valorize and privilege one normalized identity within each binary (man, straight) and simultaneously stigmatize and marginalize the «other» identity (woman, gay). Educational institutions have been set up to normalize the construction of gender and sexual identities in these ways, and this is both the overt and the «hidden» curriculum of schooling. At the same time, the «postmodern» times in which we live are characterized by a proliferating of differences so that the binary oppositional borders that have been maintained and policed through schooling, and that are central to maintaining highly inequitable power relations and rigid gender roles, are being challenged, resisted, and in other ways profoundly destabilized by young people today.
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31. Critical Interventions: Addressing the Reality of LGBTQ Sexual Violence in Higher Education



Chapter 31

Critical Interventions

Addressing the Reality of LGBTQ Sexual Violence in Higher Education

Sara Carrigan Wooten

On April 4, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden announced the release of a nineteen-page, “Dear colleague” letter by the current administration, which outlined revisions to previous Title IX mandates for all education institutions in the US that receive federal funding (Ali, 2011). The revisions were aimed at making the procedures for handling alleged incidents of sexual violence clearer for all parties involved, but specifically targeted administration and leadership on their professional responsibilities in responding to and investigating such complaints. While the release of the letter had been planned for months, it coincided with a March 31 press release announcing that the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) was investigating Yale University for Title IX violations regarding sexual harassment and violence against women on campus (Gassó, 2011).

Details of the investigation shocked the nation, given the university’s prestige and alleged indifference to the complaints of its students. In all, sixteen complainants cited numerous incidents ranging from public harassment of women to inadequate investigation of rape and sexual assault. The complainants alleged that these types of incidents had been occurring for years, absent meaningful sanction or condemnation from university leadership. The flashpoint for the complaint was the Yale chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity ordering their pledges to chant, “No means yes, yes means anal!” A 2008 incident involving members of the Yale chapter...

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