LGBTQ-inclusive curricula: why supportive curricula matter

Shannon D. Snapp, Jenifer K. McGuire, Katarina O. Sinclair, Karlee Gabrion, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is growing attention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) issues in schools, including efforts to address such issues through the curriculum. This study examines whether students’ perceptions of personal safety and school climate safety are stronger when curricula that include LGBTQ people are present and supportive. LGBTQ and straight middle and high school students from California (1232 students from 154 schools) participated in the 2008 Preventing School Harassment survey. They reported their experience of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, its level of supportiveness and perceptions of safety. Multilevel methods allowed for an examination of differences between individuals in the same school while controlling for differences between schools. LGBTQ-inclusive curricula were associated with higher reports of safety at the individual and school levels, and lower levels of bullying at the school level. The amount of support also mattered: supportive curricula were related to feeling safer and awareness of bullying at the individual and school levels. The implications of school- versus student-level results for educational policy and practices are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalSex Education
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • curriculum
  • school climate
  • bullying
  • inclusion
  • USA


  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Curriculum and Instruction

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