1st Edition

Sexuality, Gender and Schooling Shifting Agendas in Social Learning

By Mary Jane Kehily Copyright 2002

    The sexuality of young people arouses controversy and remains a source of concern for parents, teachers, policy-makers and politicians. But what young people really think about sexuality and gender and how these issues impact upon their lives is often marginalized or overlooked.

    Based upon extensive ethnographic research with young people and teachers, Sexuality, Gender and Schooling offers a telling and insightful account of how young people acquire sexual knowledge and how they enact their understanding of their own gender. It highlights the ways in which young people's constructions of gender and sexuality are formed outside the school curriculum, through engagements with various forms of popular culture - such as teen magazines and television programmes - and through same-sex friendship groups.

    Offering a fresh perspective on a subject of perennial interest and concern, Sexuality, Gender and Schooling provides accounts from the inside - some of which may challenge and eclipse current approaches to sexuality education. It has significant implications for policy and practice in Personal, Social and Health Education and is also an excellent introduction to key debates and issues in the study of gender and sexuality.

    Introduction; Chapter 1 Fragments from a fading career: personal narratives and emotional investments; Chapter 2 Ways of conceptualising sexuality, gender and schooling; Chapter 3 Producing heterosexualities: the school as a site of discursive practices; Chapter 4 Agony aunts and absences: an analysis of a sex education class; Chapter 5 More Sugar? Teenage magazines, gender displays and sexual learning; Chapter 6 Understanding masculinities: young men, heterosexuality and embodiment; Chapter 7 Sexing the subject: teachers, pedagogies and sex education; Chapter 8 Sexuality, gender and schooling reconsidered: notes towards a conclusion;


    Mary Jane Kehily is a lecturer in Childhood Studies at the Open University.

    'Reading Mary's work provokes recognition, you remember how it feels to be in a sex education class ... This must be one of the best reads around in the area of sexuality and young people.' - Sex Education

    'The attention to detail and careful links made between theory, research and practice make this book an enjoyable read which I'd recommend to others.' - Gayle Letherby, Gender and Education