Majority of parents support children learning about LGBT+ families
The overwhelming majority of parents support LGBT education and believe that is it ‘important’ for their children to learn about LGBT+ families, new independent research by Just Like Us has found.
Eight in 10 (82%) of UK parents say it’s ‘important’ for their children to ‘learn that different types of families exist (e.g. LGBT+ families, such as gay parents)’.
However, only 34% of parents said there is ‘enough support and resources for parents from schools about educating your children around LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans) people’.
A third of UK parents have never spoken to their child about what LGBT+ means and 10% never would, the independent survey of 1,001 UK parents found.
Majority of parents support LGBT inclusive education
The majority of UK families (67%) don’t have any LGBT+ inclusive books at home for their children to read. However, the majority of parents (61%) also said LGBT+ inclusive children’s books, such as those with gay parents in, would be helpful in aiding conversations with their child about LGBT+ topics.
One in 10 UK parents (10%) say they would ‘never talk about LGBT+ topics’ with their child. This is despite the majority of parents (57%) having someone in their family or social circle who is LGBT+.
A third (33%) of UK parents have never had a conversation with their child about what LGBT+ means.
Dads are less likely than mums to have had a conversation with their child about what LGBT+ means. Four in 10 dads (38%) have never spoken to their child about LGBT+ topics, compared to three in 10 mums (28%).
Some parents (19%) said they have had a conversation with their child about what LGBT+ means because their child asked them. A further 23% of parents said have had a conversation with their child because someone in their family or social circle is LGBT+.
And almost half (40%) of parents said they have had a conversation with their child about what LGBT+ means because ‘I want my child to be inclusive to all’.
School Diversity Week
The research comes as School Diversity Week celebrations begin in thousands of primary and secondary schools across the UK, where young people will be learning about diverse families and tackling bullying.
In primary schools, celebrating School Diversity Week is all about diverse families, kindness and respecting difference. It’s an opportunity to tackle anti-LGBT+ bullying and talk about how some young people grow up with LGBT+ parents using inclusive storybooks, for example.
1,001 UK parents of children aged zero to 18 were independently surveyed by Just Like Us between 30 May and 1 June 2022.
Just Like Us is the LGBT+ young people’s charity and runs School Diversity Week, which is being celebrated by thousands of primary and secondary schools across the UK this 20-24 June.
Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity says: “We are really relieved to see that the overwhelming majority of parents support LGBT inclusive education and believe it’s important for their children to learn about diversity, including that families with LGBT+ people and gay parents exist. It’s fantastic that so many parents have already had a conversation with their child about what LGBT+ means and this is certainly a sign of progress. We’re running School Diversity Week this 20-24 June to ensure more young people learn about the diversity of the world around them and know that being LGBT+ is nothing to be ashamed of.
“However, it is really disappointing that so many young people are growing up not having open conversations at home about the fact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people exist. We know that parents might be nervous or not know how to start these conversations but we really encourage parents to let their child know they are supportive.
“Sadly, 10% of British parents say they would never talk to their child about what LGBT+ means, leaving so many young people feeling ashamed, fearful or simply worried about talking about the diversity of the world around them. LGBT+ people exist in all walks of life, including in our families, so we would really encourage parents to speak to their young people and let them know they’re supportive.”
You can learn more about Just Like Us’ work and resources available for schools by signing up to our newsletter and School Diversity Week.