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ERIC Number: EJ1025448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-2004
The Aims of Sex Education: Demoting Autonomy and Promoting Mutuality
McAvoy, Paula
Educational Theory, v63 n5 p483-496 Oct 2013
In this essay, Paula McAvoy critiques a commonly held view that teaching young people to be good choice makers should be a central aim of sex education. Specifically, she argues against David Archard's recommendation that sex educators ought to focus on the development of autonomy and teaching young people that "choice should be accorded the central role in the legitimation of sexual conduct." Instead, McAvoy argues that under conditions of gender inequality this view advantages boys and disadvantages girls. Juxtaposing a case of a culturally arranged marriage with a spring break scene from Ariel Levy's "Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture," McAvoy shows that focusing on sexual choice making obscures and reifies the unequal social conditions that young people navigate. She concludes by suggesting an alternative that is in line with Sharon Lamb's argument in "Just the Facts? The Separation of Sex Education from Moral Education" that intimate encounters are better governed by attending to our ethical obligations to others.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A