1st Edition

Girls, Boys and Junior Sexualities Exploring Childrens' Gender and Sexual Relations in the Primary School

By Emma Renold Copyright 2005
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    Girls, Boys and Junior Sexualities takes an insightful and in-depth look at the hidden worlds of young children's sexualities. Based upon extensive group interviews and observation, the author illustrates how sexuality is embedded in children's school-based cultures and gender identities. From examining children's own views and experiences, the book explores a range of topical and sensitive issues, including how:

    • the primary school is a key social arena for 'doing' sexuality
    • sexuality shapes children's friendships and peer relations
    • being a 'proper' girl or boy involves investing in a heterosexual identity
    • children use gendered or sexual insults to maintain gender and sexual norms.

    Grounded in children's real-life experiences, this book traces their struggles, anxieties, desires and pleasures as they make sense of their emerging sexualities. It also includes frank and open discussions of the pressures of compulsory heterosexuality, the boyfriend/girlfriend culture, misogyny and sexual harassment.
    Girls, Boys and Junior Sexualities is a timely and powerful resource for researchers, educationalists and students in childhood studies, sociology and psychology and will be of great interest to professionals and policy makers working with young children.

    1. Sexualising gender, gendering sexuality: some introductions 2. Presumed innocence: young children, sexualities and schooling 3. To be or not to be 'girlie': negotiating (hetero)sexualised femininities 4. Boys 'doing' masculinity: mission impossible? 5. Girls, girlfriends and (hetero)sexualities: pleasure, power and danger 6. Boys, boyfriends and (hetero)sexualities: fears and frustrations 7. We're not like most girls and boys: being the gendered and sexualised Other 8. Thinking Otherwise about girls, boys and sexualities: concluding thoughts


    Emma Renold is a lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University.

    'This publication will be a valuable resource for all with an interest in childhood studies.' - ChildRIGHT

    'This is a fascinating study based on close work in real primary schools' - Gerald Haigh, TES