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Teaching Strategies: Sexual Orientation and Religion

  STRATEGIES FOR ADDRESSING ISSUES OF RELIGION OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION
ASSIGNMENTS Realize that assignments that ask students to describe their personal lives may make some students uncomfortable. When possible, allow alternatives.
DISCUSSION Be cautious about asking students in class to describe their personal life.

Don't simply ignore anti-Christian, anti-semitic, or homophobic remarks made in class.

Realize that some heterosexual students may have difficulty analyzing texts or parts of texts that discuss lesbian or gay issues.

Help students focus on issues the text brings up, not just on the words.

Realize that there may be tension between religious and non-religious students in class concerning topics such as abortion or homosexuality. Challenge students on both sides who make unwarranted assumptions ("All X's are like Y.")

LECTURE Avoid falsely inclusive or exclusive statements.

Don't use examples that imply that all people are heterosexual or Christian, or that all students have secular values or lifestyles.

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