1st Edition

Child-Friendly Perspectives on Gender and Sexual Diversity Beyond Adultcentrism

    This book discusses LGBTI+ childhood from a critical, interdisciplinary perspective with the aim of contributing to a better understanding of the complex relationship between sexuality, gender and childhood.

    Placing adultcentrism at the centre of the analytical inquiry, the international range of contributors consider experiences and subjectivities of children, their families and significant contexts. Topics covered include public policies, professional practices and care provision, as well as the tensions and contradictions stemming from the logics of otherness and exceptionality which populate dominant discourses, representations and practices around sex and gender in childhood.

    This book is intended for researchers and students in gender studies, sexuality studies, education, health, childhood studies and sociology.


    Part I: The adult mind: Cisnormativity, heterocentrism and criticism of gender and sexuality in childhood

    1 Discourses on trans children: Adult-centric narratives and youth fluid identities

    Lucas R. Platero, Beatriz San Román, Marisela Montenegro and Joan Pujol

    2 The clinical gaze on gender and bodily diversity in childhood and adolescence: Critical perspectives

    Amets Suess Schwend

    3 Nomadic ethics versus adultism: Towards equitable healthcare futures

    Zowie Davy

    4 Who wants to be queer at school? Discussing gender and sexual diversity with children and staff in Portuguese schools

    Ana Cristina Santos, Mafalda Esteves and Alexandra Santos

    Part II: The child: Experiences, subjectivities and emancipatory perspectives

    5 Drifting away from biomedical hegemonies: Representations, discourses, and practices of health professionals on sexuality and gender in childhood

    Jose Antonio Langarita, Núria Sadurní-Balcells and Pilar Albertín

    6 Telling different stories: Contemporary narratives available to young people making sense of their gendered and sexual lives in England and Sweden

    Jo Woodiwiss and Eleanor Formby

    7 The rhetoric of child well-being in the Italian public debate on same-sex parenting and gender equality education

    Federica de Cordova, Giulia Selmi and Chiara Sità

    Part III: The state: Policies, institutions and professional practices

    8 Lost in translation: Translating social justice into social care practice for LGBTI+ children and young people

    Mojca Urek and Anže Jurček

    9 A cross-national review of policies and practices affecting LGBTQ+ youth in child welfare

    June Paul, Mónica López López, Rodrigo González Álvarez, Mijntje ten Brummelaar and Leo Wieldraaijer Vincent

    10 Genderphobic childhood constructions in Hungary

    Katherine Fobear, Szilvia Schmitsek and Judit Takács


    Jose Antonio Langarita’s professional interests have centred, since the beginning of his career, on the study of sexual and gender diversity from an interdisciplinary perspective. In the course of his research, he has made use of knowledge and methodologies from different fields of social sciences. This has led him to publish the results of his work in scientific journals on anthropology, geography, social work and other transdisciplinary journals, as well as books and book chapters in several languages. Dr. Langarita has been the international coordinator of the Diversity and Childhood project (2019-2021) and the Colourful Childhoods project (2022-2024), both funded by the European Commission and focusing on sexual and gender diversity in childhood.

    Ana Cristina Santos has a background in sociology and a PhD in Gender Studies. She is Principal Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra (CES-UC), where she is Chair of the Democracy, Justice and Human Rights Thematic Line and Co-Director of GPS – Sexualities Research Group. In 2021, she was elected to the Executive Committee of the European Sociological Association until 2024. She has published extensively and coordinated several research projects on LGBTI+ issues, gender, dissident embodiment and intimate citizenship, including two European projects. From 2022 onwards, she has led funded research exploring experiences of LGBTQ+ older adults. Her most recent books are The SAGE Handbook of Global Sexualities (coedited, 2020), The Tenacity of the Couple Norm (co-authored, 2020) and LGBTQ+ Intimacies in Southern Europe (2022).

    Marisela Montenegro is a professor in the Department of Social Psychology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Her research activity focuses on the critical and postcolonial analysis of research, teaching and social work in areas such as social services for migrant women, social movements and the social construction of gender and sexuality. She has recently coordinated the European project "Building Inclusive Societies: Diversifying Knowledge and Tackling Discrimination through Civil Society Participation in Universities" and participated in the European project "Diversity and Childhood (D&C): Changing Social Attitudes towards Gender Diversity in Children across Europe".

    Mojca Urek is Associate Professor at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Work. She has conducted research on narrative approaches in social work, mental health, LGBTI+ and gender-based violence. She was the national leader of five European projects, two of which focused on LGBTI+ inclusive social care (overcoming cis- and heteronormative practices in the care of LGBTI+ older people through training and combating violence against gender non-conforming children). She is the author of the monograph Stories at Work: Narrating, Recording and Reporting in Social Work and co-author of five other monographs.