Critical evaluation of the pilot project of education for sexuality and citizenship construction, Colombia (2006-2008)
Presented by John Harold Estrada Montoya (Colombia).
J.H. Estrada Montoya
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Salud Colectiva, Bogotá, Colombia
Background: In 2006, Colombia implemented a national pilot project for sexual and reproductive health education in primary and secondary schools in four cities. The aim of this investigation was to identify, analyze, and evaluate the underlying ideological assumptions about the project´s pedagogical approach, gender, class, sexuality and sexual and reproductive rights.
Methods: This investigation is an educational evaluation based on the theoretical tradition of critical pedagogy, especially its emphasis on the structural context, and the influence of gender, class and race social categories in educational practices. Methods were qualitative and included critical discourse analyses, and semi-structured and in-depth interviews. It was conducted in three phases: 1. Data collection of official documents related to the project and interviews with 35 teachers from the four cities included in the pilot and 5 government officials who designed and implemented the project. 2. Data organization and classification. 3. Systematization, analysis, and critical evaluation.
Results: The sexuality education project is grounded in the ideological perspective that dominates the current Colombian government. The project reflects a perspective that focuses on control and subjugation of young people´s lives while maintaining power to elite sectors. Human sexuality is though in conservative moral terms: a human dimension that needs to be controlled through rules and coercion, thus privileging abstinence, traditional marriage, male dominance, and heterosexism.
Discussion: In Latin American countries, such as Colombia, it is necessary to develop citizenships that stand in opposition to existing racial, sexual, and class-based hierarchies. These new citizenships require a public language directed toward the elimination of the ideological and material conditions that drive different forms of oppression, subjugation, segregation, marginalization, stigma, and discrimination. An education program that recognizes young people´s sexual needs should include accurate information and social inclusion strategies that warrant human rights across differences in sex, gender, class and race.
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