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A new UK survey has revealed that families and schools need to educate pupils about gay parents.
The last 50 years has seen family life in the UK change with the growth in single parents and step-families, accompanied by raised awareness and discussion about what good parenting looks like. The increase of gay parents is part of this next chapter, and a new study has unveiled the need for schools and families to play a greater role educating children about gay parents.
2,000 people were surveyed about different aspects of gay parents. When it came to the role of schools, over two thirds of respondents said schools should educate pupils about gay parents. And when it came to teaching gay and lesbian issues in the classroom, over two thirds of respondents said schools should educate pupils about these issues and include them in the curriculum.
The survey also looked at the role of parents educating their children about different family types. Over two thirds of parents said they had, or intended to, talk with their child about different family types, such as gay parents.
However, a 2009 YouGov survey for Stonewall of over 2,000 primary and secondary school teachers showed that nine out in ten teachers have not received any specific training on how to tackle homophobic bullying and over a third of secondary school teachers and almost two thirds of primary school teachers have not addressed issues of sexual orientation in their lessons.
Gay parents have always existed. However, legal changes including the introduction of civil partnerships, and laws outlawing discrimination in relation to adoption, IVF and surrogacy, mean that many more gay and lesbian couples turn their aspirations to become parents into a reality.
The findings indicate that parents think more could be done in the school and at home to educate children about different types of families in today's society and to tackle homophobic bullying.
The survey was carried out in October 2010 for ParentChannel and 2,000 people across the UK were surveyed.