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ERIC Number: EJ1066116
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0258-2236
Sexual Socialisation in Life Orientation Manuals versus Popular Music: Responsibilisation versus Pleasure, Tension and Complexity
Macleod, Catriona; Moodley, Dale; Young, Lisa Saville
Perspectives in Education, v33 n2 p90-107 Jun 2015
This paper compares two forms of sexual socialisation to which learners are exposed: the sexuality education components of the Life Orientation (LO) manuals and the lyrical content and videos of popular songs. We performed a textual analysis of the sexual subject positions made available in, first, the LO manuals used in Grade 10 classes and, second, the two songs voted most popular by the Grade 10 learners of two diverse schools in the Eastern Cape. Of interest in this paper is whether and how these two forms of sexual socialisation--one representing state-sanctioned sexual socialisation and the other learners' chosen cultural expression that represents informal sexual socialisation--dovetail or diverge. Against a backdrop of heterosexuality and an assumption of the "adolescent-in-transition" discourse, the main sexual subject positions featured in the LO manuals are the responsible sexual subject and the sexual victim. A number of sexualised subject positions are portrayed in the songs, with these subject positions depicting sex as a site of pleasure, tension and complexity. Although these two modes of sexual socialisation use different genres of communication, we argue that learners' choice of songs that depict fluid sexual subject positions can help to inform LO sexuality education in ways that takes learners' preferred cultural expression seriously and that moves away from the imperative of responsibilisation.
University of the Free State Faculty of Education. P.O. Box 339, Bioemfontein 9300, South Africa. Tel: +27-51-401-2368; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A