Gender/sexual norms, legitimisation of exclusion and school Dr. Metka Mencin Čeplak
Summary: The article analyses discontent with reference to sexuality, as expressed in elementary and secondary schools’ education programs. This discontent is most obvious in the silence that pervades sexualities that deviate from self-evident norms, and in the specific contexts where those sexualities are mentioned or discussed (i.e., the context of care for physical and mental health, »the other,« or »diverse« sexual practices). This caution should prevent the outburst of conflicts between defenders of different sexual morals. But when the conflicts do break out (usually due to education programs deconstructing gender/sexual norms), they are ’resolved’ by the indulgence of the exclusive gender/sexual moral (on behalf of parents’ right to decide upon the education of their children). This method of ’problem solving’ implicitly legitimises the exclusion of homosexuals and all who cross the limits of ’normal’ heterosexuality. It strengthens prejudices, motivates ignorance, and even sets up an alibi for violence. The article points out that education does not invent a magic formula, since it cannot foresee its own effects because of the complexity of social relations and the nature of education process (cf. Millot 1983).