PSA: Investigate

18/03/2011 § Leave a comment

For this ultimate Public Service Announcement project, my group members are Yurika, Kevin, and Shunsuke. On the first day of the project (the class right after we finished our Counter Ad projects), and given some time to look at the options for the entire PSA. If I could, I would pull up the possible choices from the Health/Tech page on but it seems to not respond (or just won’t load) when I try and click the “Group lists & topic categories” choice, the file won’t open.  Nevertheless, I remember most of the choices. They were along the lines of:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Physiology of sex
  • Contraception
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Anatomy of the body (both male and female)

As far as I can remember, those were the basic categories that my group could choose from and we narrowed our choices down to two main topics: sexual orientation and teenage pregnancy. The entire group was okay with doing any of the two and we really couldn’t decide our final topic. In the end, our choice was based on what message would be more meaningful and a topic that no one else was doing. So we chose sexual orientation. We thought that, because we now live in a modern world where people are being more openly gay/lesbian (a la Glee), we feel that people should be aware that it’s okay to 1) be gay, and 2) it is not right to berate some or criticise them of the way they express themselves. Our group discussed that every human being has a right to express themselves and be who they are, and if that means being gay, then being gay is okay.

Admittedly, we got a bit ahead of ourselves during our first meeting in the library because we started talking about what we could possibly do for the PSA. We didn’t go so far as to where we would film, or any of the important details but I led the group as we brainstormed a little, mentioning that we would be wearing purple to show that we, as a group, support people who are different, specifically people who are gay or lesbian.

However, that was pretty much all we did when we ‘brainstormed’ and we led ourselves back to the topic of homosexuality. During our first meeting at the library, we had help from Mrs. Ishihara about what we were really supposed to be focusing on. We were supposed to have a main question but we didn’t know at first how to get to a question that sexual orientation could help sum up and answer. For a while, we brainstormed some questions that may or may not have helped. These included:

  • How do people realise that they’re gay?
  • Do people at school know that others could be gay?
  • Are some people at CA gay?
  • We know there are gays and lesbians, but is one group berated/criticised more than the other?
  • Are the guys discriminated against more often than girls?
  • What are the reasons behind someone’s being gay?
  • What are some behaviours that openly gay and not-openly-gay people have?
  • Why do people discriminate, in the first place?
  • What behaviours cause people to discriminate against others?
  • What causes people to discriminate others?

As you can see, some questions interlock and relate with each other but our group eventually came to the conclusion that one of the biggest ideas in the whole topic of sexual orientation is the idea that people are discriminated against, judged, and criticised for who they are and how they express themselves. Mrs. Ishihara helped us figure out that the main idea and the big picture is actually discrimination and our group’s main question became What are the causes of discrimination?

In the next two classes where we researched, we looked up the books in the library and pulled up some websites to get some statistics about gay people and sexual orientation. Aside from grabbing a couple of pages from Wikipedia, we also got information and statistics from other (older) websites and books that were accessible. One piece of information we received was that one out of ten teenagers are gay (Cohen, S. & Cohen, D., 1989). However, this could be in only America, or if it were around the globe, maybe only certain places in the world have concentrated numbers of open homosexuals because of factors that limit their openness. These factors might include religion, the country’s history, what the local society thinks of homosexuals, etc.

Such information gave our group a few looks into what the statistics and what the information could be throughout the rest of this project. For the next few classes, I think we’ll have to research a little bit more and gather more statistics online or in the books to use for our PSA. Yurika and I wrote and recently sent out a survey that now has 70 answers that asked the questions (with the choices “yes” or “no”):

  • Do you accept the idea that some people are gay?
  • Do you think the CA community should accept students who are homosexual?

We’ve currently been getting replies that say yes to both, which state that the CA community (so far) are accepting of homosexuals. Further research might give us more insight about the topic of sexual orientation and will let us relate the knowledge to discrimination.




Cohen, S., & Cohen, D. (1989). When someone you know is gay. New York, NY: M.
Evans & Company.

Heron, A. (Ed.). (1983). One teenager in 10. Boston, MA: Alyson


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