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ERIC Number: EJ1092045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1468-1811
Discursive Silences: Using Critical Linguistic and Qualitative Analysis to Explore the Continued Absence of Pleasure in Sex and Relationships Education in England
Sundaram, Vanita; Sauntson, Helen
Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, v16 n3 p240-254 2016
In this paper, we present an analysis of "pleasure" in sex and relationships education (SRE) in England. Drawing together two distinct sources of data and different but complementary analytical frameworks, we argue that pleasure is largely absent within SRE and that this discursive silence serves to produce highly gendered and heteronormative understandings of sexual agency, autonomy and empowerment. A critical linguistic analysis of the current Department for Education (DfE) SRE guidance for England reveals that sex is positioned as a "risky" and dangerous activity, which is clearly linked to child protection; sex is not discussed as pleasurable. Focus group discussions conducted with young women in the North East of England highlight the ways in which gendered discourses about pleasure construct expectations for "appropriate" sexual identities and behaviours. These may be linked to negative experiences such as sexual harassment and bullying and compromised sexual subjectivity. We suggest that existing DfE SRE guidance in England be re-examined with particular reference to addressing gender equality, including in relation to access to a discourse of sexual pleasure and rights.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A