chapter  4
32 Pages

Sexuality Services and the Political Opposition

This chapter focuses on the most significant opposition that is faced by proponents of school-based health centers (SBHCs) is from religious groups, and predominant among these is the conservative wing of Protestant churches such as Evangelical Protestants and Southern Baptists. The opposition has been difficult to deal with because of their unconventional political tactics. These tactics and the nature of the opposition suggest a style of political conflict known as identity politics. In response many such conservatives have fallen back on the fundamentals of their faith and begun to mobilize politically against what they perceive as destructive social changes. Sexuality-related need that is rarely met by SBHCs is sexual orientation counseling. A study of school clinics and sex education in Florida concluded that although issues regarding sexuality were given short shrift, 'the silence surrounding the issue of homosexuality was deafening'. Local conservatives appeared and testified at public meetings, making arguments reflecting a focus on their objection to sexuality services.