The Education of Eros: A History of Education and the Problem of Adolescent Sexuality, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Education of Eros

A History of Education and the Problem of Adolescent Sexuality, 1st Edition

By Dennis L. Carlson


198 pages

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The Education of Eros is the first and only comprehensive history of sexuality education and the “problem” of adolescent sexuality from the mid-20th century to the beginning of the 21st. It explores how professional health educators, policy makers, and social and religious conservatives differed in their approaches, and battled over what gets taught about sexuality in schools, but all shared a common understanding of the adolescent body and adolescent desire as a problem that required a regulatory and disciplinary education. It also looks the rise of new social movements in civil society and the academy in the last half of the 20th century that began to re-frame the “problem” of adolescent sexuality in a language of rights, equity, and social justice. Situated within critical social theories of sexuality, this book offers a tool for re-framing the conversation about adolescent sexuality and reconstructing the meaning of sexuality education in a democratic society.

Table of Contents



Chapter One: Constructing the "Normal" Adolescent: 1950s and 1960s

Chapter Two: SIECUS, "Value-Neutral" Sex Education, and the Battle in Anaheim

Chapter Three: The "Problem" of Teen Pregnancy and the Welfare Mother: 1960s and 1970s

Chapter Four: From the Problem of the Homosexual to the Problem of Homophobia

Chapter Five: The Plague: AIDS/HIV Education and Activism in the 1980s

Chapter Six: The Abstinence-Only Era and the Welfare Reform Act of 1996

Chapter Seven: Foucault, Disciplinary Power, and Care of the Self

Chapter Eight: Cultural Studies and the Social Construction of the Adolescent Body

Chapter Nine: Conclusion

About the Author

Dennis L. Carlson is Professor of Curriculum, Cultural Studies of Education, and the Social Foundations of Education, Miami University.

About the Series

Studies in Curriculum Theory Series

In this age of multimedia information overload, scholars and students may not be able to keep up with the proliferation of different topical, trendy book series in the field of curriculum theory. It will be a relief to know that one publisher offers a balanced, solid, forward-looking series devoted to significant and enduring scholarship, as opposed to a narrow range of topics or a single approach or point of view. This series is conceived as the series busy scholars and students can trust and depend on to deliver important scholarship in the various "discourses" that comprise the increasingly complex field of curriculum theory.

The range of the series is both broad (all of curriculum theory) and limited (only important, lasting scholarship) – including but not confined to historical, philosophical, critical, multicultural, feminist, comparative, international, aesthetic, and spiritual topics and approaches. Books in this series are intended for scholars and for students at the doctoral and, in some cases, master's levels.

Persons interested in submitting book proposals or in serving as reviewers for this series are invited to contact

Professor William F. Pinar

Canada Research Chair
University of British Columbia

Faculty of Education

Department of Curriculum Studies

2125 Main Mall

Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Health & Sexuality