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Embracing Metagender Identity in Oregon School’s Progressive Sexual Education

An Oregon school district has made headlines for its progressive approach to sexual education. According to documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, the Hillsboro School District, the fourth largest district in Oregon, is teaching tenth-grade students about various gender identities and the difference between sexual orientation and romantic orientation.

Understanding the Distinction

In their sexual education curriculum, the district’s teachers and counselors explain to students that sexual orientation (physical attraction) and romantic orientation (romantic attraction) are distinct from each other and don’t necessarily align. The curriculum introduces students to terms like “panromantic,” describing someone who is romantically attracted to individuals regardless of their gender, and “demiromantic,” which refers to individuals who only experience romantic attraction after forming a close bond with someone.

Diverse Examples

To illustrate the complexities of gender identity, sexual orientation, and romantic orientation, the curriculum provides examples of individuals with different experiences. One example features “Cece,” who identifies as female, uses she/her pronouns, has male genitalia, and is both sexually and romantically attracted to men. Another example introduces “Joey,” who identifies as male, uses he/him pronouns, has male genitalia, and doesn’t experience sexual or romantic attraction to any gender. A third example is “Casey,” who uses they/them pronouns, identifies as intersex, expresses both masculine and feminine traits, and doesn’t have any sexual or romantic attractions.

Expanding Pronoun Awareness

Beyond traditional pronouns, the curriculum teaches students about neutral pronouns like “ze/zir” and “they/them.” This inclusive approach fosters a supportive and accepting environment for all students.

Embracing Gender Diversity

The curriculum encourages students to understand that gender identities may not always align with their biological sex. It introduces concepts like “metagender,” referring to individuals who identify as neither cisgender nor transgender, and “gender fluid,” describing an identity that can change over time.

Romantic Orientation Definitions

Students are also introduced to different romantic orientation terms such as “biromantic,” which signifies romantic attraction to multiple genders, and “aromantic,” representing individuals who experience little to no romantic attraction.

Compliance with State Standards

The Hillsboro School District spokesperson clarified that their Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curriculum was developed in collaboration with various organizations and adheres to the State of Oregon’s Health Education Standards. Teachers receive training and support to deliver the curriculum, and those who feel uncomfortable can request assistance from trained staff members.

Addressing Oppression and Bias

In addition to covering sexual education, the curriculum addresses the issues of oppression, microaggressions, implicit bias, prejudice, and rape culture. Students learn about the “four I’s of oppression,” including ideological, institutional, internalized, and interpersonal oppression.

A National Conversation

The topic of gender identity and sexuality in educational settings is sparking conversations nationwide. Some school districts are encouraging teachers to show support for the LGBTQ community, while others are adopting lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Oregon’s approach to sexual education aligns with the state’s emphasis on teaching age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention programs and affirming students’ identities.

The Hillsboro School District’s inclusive curriculum aims to foster understanding, acceptance, and a supportive environment for all students, reflecting the state’s progressive stance on sexual education.

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