Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Eroding Schools' Homophobia: A Real Education

[EDIT: See comments section - To clarify, I was being critical not of any of the research, but the way it was presented in Education Guardian. I was probably too critical of and/or crabby about the Guardian piece anyway, and will write again after reading Eric Anderson's paper which he has kindly sent me].

A fine antidote to the silly piece of titillating fluff in Education Guardian yesterday comes in a fascinating interview on BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed today with Mark McCormack , co-author of the new research paper, It's Just Not Acceptable Anymore: The Erosion of Homophobia and the Softening of Masculinity at an English Sixth Form.
It's almost impossible to believe that this is the same research project described in The Guardian yesterday, which just read like silly season filler fare.
McCormack spent five months at the school watching and listening to male students, and it's staggering how at ease they seem with homosexuality and their own identities - the majority of boys are positively anti anti-gay.
McCormack says he compares the school's liberal ethos with those in a religious college and a school for "failed students" in a forthcoming book, Gay Friendly High Schools.
He says the results are pleasantly surprising.
So why did The Guardian make the project look so trivial and inane?


  1. You've got it wrong. The piece in the Guardian was my research, Eric Anderson, and it is legitimate, not trivial at all. The research on the high schools was conducted by my ex-PhD student, Dr. Mark McCormack. Two separate pieces of research, but both explained by decreasing cultural homophobia. If you would like to take seriously my, 'silly season filler fare' then perhaps you can contact me for a proper interview?


  2. Dear Eric Anderson,

    Apologies, my problem was not with the research, but the way the Guardian piece was written up...