Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Lesson Plan from Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth: A Toolkit

I focus on prejudice and discrimination in my class tomorrow.  I think I'll give my students this Heterosexual Questionnaire developed by UT Professor Dr. Martin Rochlin.  Maybe others will find it useful, too. 

Handout for Heterosexual Questionnaire Lesson Plan           

Please answer the following questions as honestly as possible.
  1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
  2. When and how did you first decide you were heterosexual?
  3. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?
  4. Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a fear of others of the same sex?
  5. If you have never slept with a member of your own sex, is it possible that you might be gay if you tried it?
  6. If heterosexuality is normal, why are so many mental patients heterosexual?
  7. Why do you heterosexual people try to seduce others into your lifestyle?
  8. Why do you flaunt your heterosexuality? Can't you just be who you are and keep it quiet?
  9. The great majority of child molesters are heterosexual. Do you consider it safe to expose your children to heterosexual teachers?
  10. With all the societal support that marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexual people?
  11. Why are heterosexual people so promiscuous?
  12. Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they would face, such as heartbreak, disease, and divorce? 
Heterosexual Questionnaire
A Lesson Plan from Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth: A Toolkit

Purpose: To give straight people an opportunity to experience the types of questions that are often asked of gay, lesbian, and/or bisexual people

Time: 40 minutes

Materials: Handout Heterosexual Questionnaire


  • Explain to the group that, when gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are beginning to 'come out,' they are often asked questions that are nearly impossible to answer. In order to help participants understand the heterosexist bias* in our culture, you will ask them to grapple with these same questions in regard to heterosexuality.
  • Say that you will give them each a handout. They will break up into groups of four or five and try to come up with answers. Say that you want them to try to answer each question as well as to react to the questions as a whole. Irrespective of each participant's sexual orientation, everyone should attempt to answer as though he/she is heterosexual.
  • After about 10 minutes, ask everyone to reassemble in the large group. Ask the participants the Discussion Questions below.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did you find the questions hard to answer? Were some harder than others? Which? What, specifically, was so difficult?
  2. How did the questions make you feel?
  3. What does it say about our society that gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are asked similar questions?
  4. What can you do in the future if you hear someone asking such questions?
* Heterosexist bias, or heterosexism, is the assumption that everyone is, or ought to be, heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only 'normal,' right, and moral way to be and that, therefore, anyone with a different sexual orientation is 'abnormal,' wrong, and immoral.

*Created by Martin Rochlin, Ph.D., January 1977, and adapted for use here.

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