Contact person:
Jack Lukkerz
  • The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU)
Responsible at MaU:
Jack Lukkerz
Project members at MaU:
Time frame:
01 March 2024 - 31 December 2024
Research subject:

About the project

The purpose of this research project is to investigate how schools address LGBTQI-related issues within the framework of education. The project aims to examine grades 1 to 6, with the intention of interviewing teaching staff, principals, representatives of student health services, and the students themselves. The project is part of the research conducted at the Department of Social Work and the Center for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS), and is intended to eventually become part of the knowledge base used in teaching at the department. The need for more knowledge in this area is based on the work of the Public Health Agency of Sweden (FoHM), which shows, among other things, that young LGBTQI people have poorer mental health and a higher risk of suicide. Odenbring (2023) highlights the importance of local school culture for LGBTQI students coming out, while also noting that there is often (with exceptions) a harsh school climate with a high risk of vulnerability for young LGBTQI people. Young people from the majority group can often joke or express ignorance about LGBTQI issues, which can have negative consequences for young LGBTQI people (Odenbring, 2023). Norm formation and difficulties in raising safety issues or controversial topics (School Inspectorate, 2018) can, in turn, negatively affect the work with LGBTQI issues and thus also the health of young LGBTQI people.

Increased knowledge about younger students

The reason we want to increase knowledge about the situation for younger ages through this study is that research and the work of authorities have traditionally focused on students in secondary and high school, while knowledge about how younger students experience the school's work with LGBTQI issues is largely lacking. The purpose, therefore, is to investigate how schools for ages 1–6 work with LGBTQI issues within the framework of their teaching. The research problem concerns the need for knowledge about how younger students, in grades 1–6, experience the school's work with LGBTQI issues regarding measures to promote young people's health and the opportunities to receive support in their gender identity and sexual orientation if it deviates from the norm. The staff interviewed should work within the school in grades 1–6 and have the task, among other things, to work on health promotion.

The preliminary scientific questions are as follows:

  • How do Swedish schools for students in grades 1 to 6 work with LGBTQI issues within the framework of teaching, including competence provision, collaboration, and conditions?
  • What knowledge and experiences do the students have regarding the school's teaching work with LGBTQI issues and the school environment concerning LGBTQI?