Gender Studies Class Conducts School-Wide Survey

Mrs. Corsa's Gender Studies Class

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During the month of December, the Gender Studies class conducted a school-wide survey seeking to gain a better understanding of the different viewpoints within the WHS school environment in regards to gender issues and equality.  In total, more than 350 students shared their views and opinions through the poll. Additionally, class members spoke with different teachers and administrators to gather their opinions on different topics pertaining to gender expectation and equality.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the study.


Student responses were relatively evenly split among the grade levels, as approximately 25% of the responses came from each grade.  Nearly 59% of the respondents identified their gender identity as female, while 36% identified as male, with approximately 5% of the responses indicating an alternate identity choice or preferring not to say.    


Overall, the student responses indicated that WHS is generally a welcoming community to all students.  When asked how gender identity impacts a student’s individual feelings of acceptance at the high school level, more than 87% of respondents felt very accepted.  When asked if students felt that WHS is an accepting community of individuals of all gender identities, roughly 73% responded positively to this statement, with roughly 9% of students disagreeing and 14% feeling neutral.  While more than half the students surveyed felt that their gender identity does not impact their social expectations in the high school level, approximately 23% of the student responses indicated that there are social pressures to succumb to gender expectations and stereotypes.


Throughout different question responses and student-supplied commentary, however, there were repeated requests for continued education and information topics pertaining to gender education and equality.   When asked if “gender rights and equality are universal concerns that need to be addressed by people of all genders,” a large majority of students responded positively to this statement (more than 70% of the responses).  


Additionally, in the open comments section, there were numerous requests for more opportunities for education on gender identity, equality, and rights.  When asked, as a high school student, if people feel they have access to resources and support services regarding gender issues, concerns or questions, nearly 34% of responses indicated no, maybe, or unsure.  Overall, the survey and student responses indicated an appreciation on the school, class and teacher levels for the efforts being made for more exposure, awareness, and education on gender issues, there is still room to develop these opportunities more thoroughly.       


During the teacher interviews, the staff members highlighted positive aspects they have observed within the school community. Many staff members mentioned how awareness of gender issues and topics have grown over the years and how the school environment as a whole has made an effort to spread awareness and acceptance over the years. Teachers spoke about the efforts being made, both at the faculty and student levels, to increase education opportunities on topics such as pronoun use and ways to create an inclusive school climate and culture.  


Overall, the Gender Studies class appreciates all the feedback it received from the students and staff at WHS.  It was important to see the student body as a whole recognizes gender issues as universal concerns. Going forward, students have asked for more educational opportunities to learn and become knowledgeable about LGBTQ matters and issues, as well as more opportunities to practice and implement gender equality, in classes, in language practices, and in life in general at the high school.