Current Affairs

Poland: Teaching materials for nurses ‘calls gays socially dangerous’

Stephen Gray June 8, 2012
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Anger has been expressed over teaching materials for nurses in Poland which reportedly describe homosexuality as a ‘pathology’.

According to the Telegraph, homosexuality is described as a “sexual problem” in textbooks, covered in sections on “how to identify and provide assistance in situations of sexual assault and sexual disorders”.

An exam paper on gynaecology asked: “Homosexuals are particularly dangerous socially and seduce individuals by …”. Multiple-choice answers included “abnormal sexual drive” and “prostitution”.

Agata Chaber, president of the Campaign Against Homophobia said: “This is a particularly dangerous incident of homophobia.

“Official information in course curriculum is regarded as reliable and verified, and therefore very few people will question it.”

Although the health ministry was petitioned by equalities minister Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz to stop teaching the material immediately, it has initiated a review which may take some time to decide how to update the texts.

Zosia Jablonska, an equal-rights campaigner told the Telegraph: “For 10 years the ministry did not mind that nurses and midwives learnt content that was both discriminatory and hurtful for sexual minorities, and now it doesn’t seem to mind that the content will still be taught until it ends a bureaucratic procedure for establishing new programmes.”

In 2010, anger was expressed by an LGBT organisation which claimed a textbook used in secondary schools was portraying homosexuality as an illness.

The Diversity Workshop said: “[The book] remains silent on the problems of homophobia and discrimination and presents the theory that homosexuality is something one can reject and that one can return to ‘normality’.”

An education ministry spokesman said: “We tell our experts to pay particular attention to any racial, sexual or religious discrimination before approving a textbook, and in this case they found no such issues.

“We can’t withdraw a book simply because a group of people disagree with the theories expounded by the scholars who wrote it.”

Poland has the only currently-serving transgender MP in the world. Anna Grodzka is believed to be the first trans MP in European history.

More: Europe, Europe, Gay, Health, Homosexuality, nurse, nurses, nursing, Poland, Poland

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