Nonheterosexual (cf. GLBT) Youth Suffer Disproportionately

I just received a link about and am a bit frightened by the results of this major scientific study released today by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study is “Criminal-Justice and School Sanctions Against Nonheterosexual Youth: A National Longitudinal Study,” and their major finding is “Nonheterosexual youth suffer disproportionate educational and criminal-justice punishments that are not explained by greater engagement in illegal or transgressive behaviors.”

Take a read of it yourself; the PDF is freely available on their website.

Is President Obama Wavering on Gay Rights?

Anybody else see this editorial, A Bad Call for Gay Rights,  tucked away at the back of this morning’s New York Times? Let’s just say it is not a positive view on how the president is handling gay issues. It ends:

But busy calendars and political expediency are no excuse for making one group of Americans wait any longer for equal rights.

While I am not the biggest advocate in the world for marriage of any sort, I can’t help but wonder why the president seems to have done little to nothing (that I can tell) for a population that he so directly courted and still spares few opportunities to mention in an inclusive manner. I cannot imagine the stress and challenges President Obama faces; then again, I did not run for president.

Perhaps taking action is scheduled for later?

Sexual Identity Development Through Performance Art

Ted McCadden (at Penn State) discussed how identity formation occurs through performance work, especially with pop culture and mass communication.

He uses psychoanalytic branches of transformative learning theory (Boyd and Myers, Dirkxx) and critical media literacy as the theoretical overview. Take the transformative learning model and add on how the receiver of the message who receives a message and acts upon it (from critical media literacy and method acting). Add to this how the actor is involved in the process.

American theatre either reflects American culture or satirizes it. In this way, theatre can reinforce the entire hegemonic notions that it seeks to criticize. He is showing various video clips (not a single one, surprise . . .  surprise, do I recognize!).

Method acting has an actor in the center of the I / Me / Character, so the actor feels and experiences what the character is experiencing, in order to make it convincing. How does a character portray something about which they have no experience.

Transformative learning theory focuses on the positive, though what happens when there is negative learning or negative experiences? God questions that were just raised and about which I need to think a lot about.

The discussion around what rights people have with transformative learning, when frames of reference are intentionally challenged.

Verisimilitude—your culture that is the recipient of the message must understand your message. Really interesting concept from method acting.

I think I need to know more about critical media literacy. This is around the mass media, so the people who are receiving the messages are interpreted in our own ways through our own lenses.

Social Frames and Framing

A frame (Snow and Benford) is a “schema of interpretation” – a way of explaining the society around us. An example of a social frame is a school (children, flag outside, etc.). These are socially constructed. Frame alignment is when people agree on social frames and then these people move forward with social movements. This can be spoken as an issue is constructed as an issue of some sort or another. These frames can be grass-roots or top-down. Framing situations use language based on how an issue is perceived / constructed. Frame bridging is when certain ideologically congruent but structurally unconnected frames are linked. Frame amplification is when something is focused upon, and how this framing is used politically by whomever is empowering the framing. Frame extension is when an adherent pool of the movement is now being partnered with various values—these can implode on themselves. Frame transformation is an alteration of the frames.

These deal with how people use socially constructed frames to push forward some issue or another.

Frame processes that can be used with educational perspectives:

  • frame bridging
  • frame amplification
  • frame extension
  • frame transformation

From these four frame alignment processes, how can educators use them to help move education forward as a political agenda? How can these processes be used? How does power maintain itself? One way about this is by showing how opposing frames can be ridiculous, causing it to implore.

It is interesting how these framing issues have turned into a larger discussion about how various issues within professional organizations. The issue about using various keywords that  may or may not be exclusionary was discussed.

Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS)

Andre Grace is speaking about his new institute at the University of Alberta, iSMSS (Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services), and he explained how he first started doing this work. Quite interesting work. Nice twist with referring to at risk as at promise. Andre always gives me something to think about. He makes a good point about how he now writes for the mainstream, and then slides queer into it. This is a thread which we spoke about earlier in the pre-conference, and I think many issues can be addressed in this light, especially when considering issues of justice and adult education.

Interesting reflection about acceptance and teaching it. As Andre is from Canada, he does not need to speak about acceptance of people; but rather about levels of respect, rights, safety, and security. He blends law and lawsuits into “tolerance” work with educators, rather than speaking about issues directly. In other words, meet people with giving them their WIIFM, especially if the WIIFM involves not getting sued.

Note to self; consider the use of language to best  help the audience accept your message. While I do normally think about this when i teach organizational communication, I do not normally think about this when considering educational issues and focusing on critical pedagogy.

Really interesting work with Camp fYrefly, which I have heard of over the years and which helps youth who struggle with issues around gender and sexual identity, which is referred to as sexual minority status in Canada. Nicely progressive.