TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
Sexual identity at school. Educating to diversity and preventing homophobia
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
Federico Batini e Barbara Santoni
PLACE AND DATE OF PUBLICATION
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
The book is clearly divided into two parts. The first one consists of three chapters dealing with the story of homosexual prejudice from its origins up to the present discrimination. This is a sort of preparatory reading to the following section where the causes of homophobia are analyzed in detail.
The second part of the book contains four chapters offering a wide-ranging reflection on teenagers’ psychology and dynamics acting in the homosexual field. This is the most extensive and interesting section of the volume which provides a deep analysis of the phenomenon through the relationship involving the individual, his family and the actors of the school as different characters of the homosexual phenomenon.
Chapter 4 ( Different sexual identities in adolescence ) is followed by chapter 5 ( The dynamics of prejudice and discrimination in school contexts ) which makes the reader get in touch directly with the way in which homosexuality is experienced at school. In this regard, real scenes where adolescents are affected by acts of bullying are evoked, for example the case when some (too many) students become the victims of some particular, offensive linguistic expressions that reveal how prejudices can mark someone’s life. The following chapter (Educating to diversities and preventing homophobic bullying at school), focusing on the particular phenomenon of bullying and homophobia, is introduced by the definition of "bullying ", its various meanings and characteristics. The final chapter, Chapter 7 ( Understanding family differences. What teachers should know ), offers the reader a survey on the state of the matter, opening a debate on the role played by the family.
Each chapter is accompanied with final cards which facilitate the understanding of the message and suggest some teaching strategies, such as role play and brainstorming, to implement at school. This is an interesting attempt to prevent bullying (or limit its manifestations) right in the "place” where teenagers spend most of their time (sometimes longer than in family) with their peers.
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
The book deals with a very modern subject which is rarely present in school publications. Discrimination against people attracted to the same sex, very often leads to (verbal and physical ) bullying attitudes which make teachers complain about the lack of any kind of support, such as concrete operational guidelines to carry out in the classroom or within the Institute. The aim? Preventing this kind of bullying which leads the victims to consequences and stances crucial to their lives, as confirmed by the media.
If the first part of the book seems to provide the reader with a partial analysis of the religious interpretation of homosexuality since it reports almost exclusively the Catholic perspective, forgetting the other religious points of view, the second one identifies school as a privileged setting where to experience "something" different: new forms of cohabitation far from violence and bullying. For this reason, teachers (even the whole school staff) are expected to play a very delicate but vital role.
Chapter 6, in particular, can be considered a sort of operating manual which facilitates a positive relatedness completely detached from bullying influence. However, not all cards seem to be shareable(6. 4): according to the authors, catholic morality doesn’t facilitate the overcoming of reality. Other cards, on the contrary, are certainly valuable (6. 5:06 . 6) such as the appendices, and in particular, the second card which is perfectly suitable for secondary school.
Each school is a different reality since each student-teenager is “unique” and the individual (as the teenager is) can neither be limited nor reproduced but he is himself as such. So is it the family: the authors suggest a point of view surely unshareable by catholic morality, but they have the merit of asking the catholic morality for a contribution.
The book, with its operating cards should be appreciated for the effort of introducing a particular topic within a more general one, that is bullying. It uses a language ( tab 5 . 3 ) that facilitates discussion and offers guidelines to be adapted and implemented in the classroom.
WHERE TO FIND IT
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Name of Compiler
Name of Institution
IST “G. Matteotti” Pisa
Role in the institution
IRC Teacher and Associate Vicar