The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner covered a school board meeting earlier this week that I find sociologically fascinating. The school board is considering amending its anti-discrimination and harassment policies to include gender identity. The article is interesting in itself, and certainly the issue of anti-discrimination policies in schools is of sociological interest to me. But what I have found to be even MORE interesting is the ensuring online discussion!
Many of the posters do not seem to have read the article. The article clearly describes what gender is, and differentiates it from sexuality. Yet a plurality of the posts seem to confuse the two issues. As sociologists, we understand that sexuality is not the same as gender identity. Why do you think so many people misunderstand gender? Or maybe another question might be this: why do so many people fail to read a news article before expressing their opinion on its contents? Or do you think that people DID read the article, but missed the descriptions of the difference between sexuality and gender identity? Do lay persons find gender harder than sexuality to understand? In any case, it's an interesting discussion. Post your sociological responses to my questions on this blog by clicking on Comments, below.
Here is the article. The forum discussion follows: