UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

"Protect the children, save the family" - 'gender ideology' in the classroom : a case study of moral panic in Brazil Da Silva Pereira, Renato


Since the start of the 21st century, Brazil has seen its political and discursive arenas being taken over by debates and controversies over the expansion of civil rights for LGBT+ citizens and government initiatives to combat systemic homophobia across the country, including its school system. These moments have become more frequent in the current scenario of rising religious (ultra)conservatism(s) and increased battling of moralities around gender and sexual orientation issues. Many (ultra)conservative politicians and religious leaders have continuously spread the alarming notion that Brazilian children and adolescents are in great danger and need to be legally protected against moral corruption, unnatural sexualities, and indoctrination into ‘gender ideology,’ turning the Brazilian education system into an ongoing ideological battlefield. For this thesis, I chose the format of a case study to analyze the discourses present in 12 federal bills that were proposed by (ultra)conservative legislators in the National Congress of Brazil from 2015 to 2022. My goal is to examine the language, concepts, ontological premises, and discursive strategies utilized in those documents. All those bills were introduced with the aim of protecting school children and adolescents against the so-called ‘gender ideology,’ which the fundamentalist and (ultra)conservative voices perceive to be a true menace to the existent traditional heterosexual institution in the country and, in their view, the very existence of Brazilian society.

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