1st Edition

Investigating Young People's Sexual Cultures

Edited By Feona Attwood, Clarissa Smith Copyright 2014
    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    136 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines ways of developing research on young people’s sexual cultures in the context of a media-saturated and technology-focused contemporary culture, an area of study that remains relatively unexplored despite heightened concern about young people, sex and culture. Unlike the widespread sensationalist reporting about the ‘pornification’ of young people’s lives and the policy documents which have emerged on ‘sexualization’, the book foregrounds the need for a critical approach which recognizes the complexity of culture and is able to unpack what is at stake in the construction of particular views and practices. It emphasizes how concerns about ‘harm’ and ‘risk’, however well-intentioned, can work against young people’s interests and argues that education will only be effective if it engages with young people and is based on a commitment to young people’s rights and to the broader notion of sexual rights. Drawing together key researchers in the area the book examines health policy, sex and relationships education, sex abuse therapy, television production, sport, internet use, and the production and consumption of commercial goods and media. This book will be of interest to the many academics and groups who are concerned with young people’s sexual cultures and their place within society.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of Sex Education.

    1. Investigating young people’s sexual cultures: an introduction Feona Attwood and Clarissa Smith

    2. Thinking outside specious boxes: constructionist and post-structuralist readings of ‘child sexual abuse’ Anne-Marie Grondin

    3. Sex and relationships education, sexual health, and lesbian, gay and bisexual sexual cultures: views from young people Eleanor Formby

    4. ‘Can’t talk about sex’: producers of children’s television around the world speak out Dafna Lemish

    5. Too much, too soon? Children, ‘sexualization’ and consumer culture Sara Bragg, David Buckingham, Rachel Russell and Rebekah Willett

    6. Playing with porn: Greek children’s explorations in pornography Liza Tsaliki

    7. Raunch or romance? Framing and interpreting the relationship between sexualized culture and young people’s sexual health Clare Bale

    8. Sexual beginners: accounting for first sexual intercourse in Italian young people’s heterosexual biographies Raffaella Ferrero Camoletto

    9. Lamenting sexualization: research, rhetoric and the story of young people’s ‘sexualization’ in the UK Home Office review Clarissa Smith and Feona Attwood

    10. Playing by the rules: researching, teaching and learning sexual ethics with young men in the Australian National Rugby League Kath Albury, Moira Carmody, Clifton Evers and Catharine Lumby


    Feona Attwood is Professor of Cultural Studies, Communication and Media at Middlesex University, UK. Her research focuses on onscenity; sexualization; sexual cultures; new technologies, identity and the body; and controversial media. Feona is the editor of Mainstreaming sex: The sexualization of Western culture (2009) and porn.com: Making sense of online pornography (2010) and the co-editor of (with Vincent Campbell, I.Q. Hunter and Sharon Lockyer) Controversial images: Media representations on the edge (2013). She co-edits the journal, Sexualities and is the founding co-editor of the journal, Porn Studies.

    Clarissa Smith is Professor of Sexual Cultures at the University of Sunderland, UK. Her research focuses on sexual cultures, practices and representations. In particular, she is interested in pornography and other sexually explicit media: their institutional practices, representational strategies, uses and meanings. Her publications include One for the girls! The pleasures and practices of pornography for women (2007), (with Michael Higgins and John Storey) Cambridge companion to contemporary British culture (2010), and (with Niall Richardson and Angela Werndly) Studies in sexualities: Theories, representations, practices (2013). She is the founding co-editor of the journal, Porn Studies.

    "Given that so much attention is given in the media to issues concerning the sexual lives of young people, and so many political pressures are involved in the public discourse, it is particularly important that academics pay attention to problematic assumptions and aspects of people's lives that would otherwise go underappreciated.  So this collection of articles put together by Feona Attwood and Clarissa Smith will be a valuable resource for other researchers and activists aiming to make the public debate better informed."- Christian Perring, Metapsychology