Main | Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wisconsin: Furor Over Gay Questionnaire

Over at World Net Daily and on Free Republic the wingnuts are going crazy over the claim that a rural high school teacher in Wisconsin gave high school seniors a questionnaire that asked these questions:
  • What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
  • When and how did you decide you were a heterosexual?
  • Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?
  • Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?
  • Do your parents know that you are straight? Do your friends and/or roommate(s) know? How did they react?
  • Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can't you just be who you are and keep it quiet?
  • Why do heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into their lifestyles?
  • A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual. So you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?
  • With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?
  • Statistics show that lesbians have the lowest incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. Is it really safe for a woman to maintain a heterosexual lifestyle and run the risk of disease and pregnancy?
  • Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?
  • Would you want your child to be heterosexual, knowing the problems that s/he would face?
World Net Daily talked to the school's principal:

Principal Dave McSherry told WND that the discussion was part of a comprehensive curriculum in critical thinking skills, preparing the students to make decisions on their own in college and beyond.

"Our English department does excellent work in writing language arts, getting kids to be able to discuss and debate issues, and engage in critical thinking," McSherry said. "The critical thinking part is the biggest part we're trying to get these kids to learn. As they move on to college, we want them to be able to think for themselves, be able to weigh issues and hopefully make smart decisions down the road."

McSherry told WND the questionnaire was presented as a prompt to discussion and debate and that to simply react to the list of questions is to take the issue out of context. "We're not promoting homosexuality," McSherry said. "We never have, never will."

I think the questionnaire is kind of fabulous and totally appropriate for high school seniors. It challenges students on their preconceived notions on sexuality and would provoke some of the most thoughtful writing they'd probably ever produce.

Expect, however, that this story will become yet another talking point in the "they're shoving it down our throats" litany of accusations against the LGBT movement. We ain't heard the last on this questionnaire, not by a LONG shot.

UPDATE: Jeremy at Good As You notes the history of the questionnaire.
"The Heterosexual Questionnaire" was created by Dr. Martin Rochlin back in the '70s as a way of engaging folks in conversation about LGBT issues. Its 200812041620questions all turn the tables on the sorts of queries that are usually posed to gay folks, asking heterosexuals to consider if maybe, just maybe, their own sexuality was, among other things, a curable choice. The hope is that these provocative questions will spark a rational discussion about gay folks and their role in society, and many institutions have employed the questionnaire as a valid learning tool.
Jeremy adds: "Leave it to the reliably rabid WorldNetDaily to turn one specific usage of the questionnaire into an example of "the radical gay agenda™."

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