I Can’t Wait to Leave School

2011 August I Cant Wait to Leave School
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Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
School of Health and Social Development
Deakin University

Maria summarises the findings of her research with bisexual young people in Australian and US schools. She found that many young people felt that bisexuality “messes up” the binary of heterosexuality and homosexuality that frames and informs most anti-homophobic policies, programs, and practices in schools. In doing so, many young women are left feeling like “X-files” at school—alien, isolated, and disconnected—thereby potentially leading to risk-taking and self-harming behaviours.

In addition, bisexuality in girls is largely subjected to one or more of four types of problematic representations in health and education research, and in the wider populist culture. She gives an overview of each of these:

  • Underrepresentation
  • Misrepresentation
  • Outdated representation
  • Homogenised representation