Resources from the past for discussing gender and sexual diversity today

Across the UK, museums and archives hold many objects which reveal to us the diversity of ideas about gender and sexuality throughout world history.

From an 11,000 year old sculpture to modern day pin badges, this website showcases just some of this incredible material, together with free lesson ideas for using each object as the basis of LGBT+ focused discussions.

These discussions can take place within Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education as part of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), other school subjects or out-of-school youth activities.

Objects from the past have a powerful way of creating distance from contemporary concerns and at the same time providing an important critical perspective on today’s attitudes and assumptions. These materials can kick-start dynamic conversations in the classroom and elsewhere! 

Look out for more fascinating objects from UK collections to be added! 

See more details on how to use this website.

This project was developed in consultation with young people and in a collaboration between historians, teachers, sexual health practitioners and museum professionals. See more on our Project Team and Project Partners pages.

This project is a response to the theme 'Citizenship, PSHE and Law' for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month 2017, a project by Schools OUT UK. This theme was chosen to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. 

All resources on this website have been written following the Values and Principles of Quality Sex and Relationship Education. They should fit within a whole school curriculum approach to PSHE. The primary partner, the Sex & History Project is a core member of the Sex Education Forum and adheres to all of its values and principles. Sex & History also received an award in 2017 from the Family Planning Association for innovation and good practice in relationships and sex education.