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Selected Development Project
Project Title

Empowering Chinese Teachers in Sexual Diversity Training to Combat Sexual Prejudices against Tongzhi Students in Secondary Schools


Principal Investigator Dr KWOK Kan Diana 
Area of Research Project
Educational Leadership, Policy and Administration
Project Period
From 01/2015 To 06/2017
To identify anti-sexual prejudice teacher training themes; and to examine the effectiveness of the anti-sexual prejudice teacher training.
Methods Used

To identify training themes through qualitative in-depth interviews with informants coming from educational settings and sexual minority communities respectively. To translate and validate selected tools to measure the training effectiveness through quantitative studies.

Summary of Findings

Thirty-four informants from educational settings and 29 informants from the sexual minority communities participated in the qualitative study. In the qualitative study, teacher informants were predominantly feeling uncomfortable and ambivalent when talking about sexual diversity concerns. Most of them adopted concepts of binary sex and dichotomous gender, while sexual minority informants felt comfortable to talk about diverse concepts on sex and sexuality. Sexual minority informants adopted a broad spectrum of understanding on sex, gender and sexuality. Both groups indicated that the teachings of Confucianism cultural values, religiosity in Hong Kong might be important cultural forces contributing to sexual prejudice manifested in school context. Although human rights and social justice concepts were embedded in professional code of practice of teachers and school helping professionals, informants found that teachers might face a dilemma when supporting sexual minority students navigating heterosexual hegemony and genderism in educational context, as consequence of their personal and institutions’ cultural and/or religious backgrounds. The research team found that teachers face institutional barriers in addition to individual level barriers. Sexual diversity training with a rights-based perspective and cultural sensitive perspective should be integrated into training contents to ensure a space for teachers to process their cultural dilemma, and to enhance their competence. In addition, over six hundred Chinese young adult informants were recruited to participate in different stages of quantitative study. selected quantitative scales were validated and found to be reliable and useful among 636 Chinese adult informants.


The rich discussion regarding the attitudes and knowledge on sexuality and sexual prejudice, and struggles of teaching professionals offered insights to prospective educators and have been integrated into sexuality and sexual diversity teacher training. Additionally, the identified narratives on sexual prejudice in educational settings informed public education of embracing sexual diversity in society.

The P.I. was invited as an expert consultant, participated in the RTHK production of sexual diversity school education program commissioned by the Hong Kong SAR Government, a public education program on transgender well-being, and a sexual diversity curriculum consultation meeting initiated by the Hong Kong SAR Government. Team members were invited to participate in professional consultation session, or invited as professional consultants, and/or trainers for community/school projects and professional associations related to sexual diversity, such as Caritas - Hong Kong, the Richmond Fellowship Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Boys and Girls Clubs Association, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Po Leung Kuk Hong Kong, Professional Social Workers’ Association, Hong Kong Women Teachers' Organization, the Hong Kong Association of Sexuality Educators, Researchers & Therapists, Yang Memorial Methodist Social Service, Gender Empowerment, the Transgender Resource Center, professional teacher training courses from teacher training programs, guidance and school counseling teams of mainstream and special schools in Hong Kong  etc.. The established themes suggested by the informants and the validated measurements/scales have been incorporating in the on-going teacher training sessions.

Selected Output

Kwok, D.K. & Kwok, K. (2017). Contesting gender binaries in school counselling supporting students encountering transgender harassment. In M. T.
Hue (Ed.), School counselling in a Chinese context: Supporting students in need in Hong Kong. New York: Routledge.
Kwok, D.K., Wu, J. (2015). Chinese attitudes towards sexual minorities in Hong Kong: Implications for mental health. International Review of Psychiatry, 27(5), 444-454.

Biography of Principal Investigator

Diana Kwok joined the Department of Special Education and Counselling (SEC) as an Assistant Professor in September 2013. Diana is a registered social worker, a mental health counsellor, and sex therapist. She has experience in Hong Kong and in the US, in the field of school counselling, family service, psychiatric mental health service, and diversity social service for minority groups. Diana's research interest focuses on the school experience of LGBTQI /Tongzhi students, sexuality education, and multicultural competence of counsellors/ social workers working with sexual and gender minorities in the Chinese context.

Funding Source

Early Career Scheme