No psychology, without gender identity and sexuality say Florida mental health providers
Central Florida mental health providers are voicing support for the College Board’s decision to keep gender identity and sexuality in AP Psychology classes in Florida.
The College Board says it won’t modify its AP Psychology curriculum after the Florida Department of Education asked it to remove all references to gender identity and sexuality.
Winter Park therapist Cherlette McCullough said taking these important topics out of the course would put Florida students who want to pursue mental health as a career at a disadvantage.
“Not studying those and not understanding those would stop students from being able to really understand how psychology works," McCullough said.
Psychologist Marni Stahlman who runs the Mental Health Association of Central Florida likened trying to learn psychology without these topics to trying to learn surgery without being able to practice it.
"It would be like saying that you would like to become or learn how to do clinical surgery, but you can't learn how to cut, or there are certain areas of the body that you wouldn't be able to practice upon," said Stahlman. "You have to look at people as a whole human being, and their sexuality and their gender identity is a central component of that."
In February, the AP College Board edited a queer theory unit out of its AP African American History class after a request from the state board of education.
Nearly 28,000 students in Florida took the AP Psychology Exam this year alone, making it one of the College Board's most popular courses in the Sunshine State.