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Teachers Attitudes Towards same-sex-Desiring Students at UKZN



Teachers Attitudes Towards same-sex-Desiring Students at UKZN

Teachers Attitudes Towards same-sex-Desiring Students at UKZN. In a significant milestone for education and inclusivity, Ms. Sinenhlanhla Ngcobo, brimming with joy, recently graduated with a Master’s in Education. Her research delved into the often overlooked realm of Teachers’ Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Same-Sex Desiring Learners in One Urban Single-Sex High School.

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Exploring the Challenges Faced by Same-Sex Desiring Learners

Ms. Ngcobo study sheds light on the unique challenges faced by same-sex desiring learners within the school environment. In her own words, “Negative perceptions, heteronormativity, and homophobia create barriers, hindering these students from having a normal schooling experience.”

Unveiling the Findings

The findings of the study unearthed a disconcerting reality: many teachers lacked the consciousness and understanding of the human rights doctrine protecting same-sex desiring learners, as enshrined in the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights. Moreover, cultural and religious beliefs were found to significantly contribute to the lack of tolerance and acceptance among teachers.

Impact of Societal Constructs on Teacher Attitudes

Ms. Ngcobo highlights the pervasive influence of societal constructions of femininity and masculinity on teachers’ perceptions and attitudes towards same-sex desiring learners. While overt homophobia may not always be apparent, covert biases shape how teachers navigate their roles and interactions both inside and outside the classroom.

A Call for Educator Empowerment

Arguing for proactive measures, Ms. Ngcobo stresses the importance of educating teachers, particularly at the undergraduate level, about same-sex desiring learners. Equipping educators with knowledge and tools to challenge socially constructed biases before entering the schooling environment is deemed crucial.

Toward Inclusivity: Recommendations For Change

The study advocates for the development of an inclusive curriculum that addresses gender and sexual diversity. Additionally, it underscores the necessity of formulating policies that safeguard the rights and well-being of same-sex desiring learners.


In her journey, Ms. Ngcobo expresses gratitude to her family, friends, and supervisor, Dr. Bronwynne Anderson, for their unwavering support throughout her studies.


Ms. Sinenhlanhla Ngcobo research signifies a crucial step towards fostering inclusivity and understanding within educational institutions. By uncovering and addressing the underlying biases and challenges faced by same-sex desiring learners, her work paves the way for a more equitable and supportive learning environment.

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