From Liberal Acceptance to Intolerance: Discourses on Sexual Diversity in Schools by Portuguese Young People




Purpose: This article explores different strands of educational discourse about sexual diversity in Portuguese schools, from the students’ perspectives.

Method: The methodological approach consisted in conducting focus groups discussions: 36 with 232 young students (H = 106, M = 126) in 12 public secondary schools.

Findings: Students reveal a polyphony of discourses that gravitate between liberal acceptance, conditional acceptance and intolerance.

Research implications: Attention is drawn not only to discriminatory processes that question school as a democratic place for LGBT youth, but also to the gap between what is legally decreed and a lack of know-how in the approach to sexual diversity in school.

Author Biographies

Hugo M Santos, University of Porto, Portugal

PhD Student, Doctoral Program in Education, University of Porto

He is supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Tecnhology (PD/BD/52467/2014).

Sofia Marques da Silva, University of Porto, Portugal

Assistant Professor, Department of Education

Isabel Menezes, University of Porto, Portugal

Full Professor, Department of Education


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