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.
"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
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