ERIC Number: EJ1148258
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reproducing (and Disrupting) Heteronormativity: Gendered Sexual Socialization in Preschool Classrooms
Gansen, Heidi M.
Sociology of Education, v90 n3 p255-272 Jul 2017
Using ethnographic data from 10 months of observations in nine preschool classrooms, I examine gendered sexual socialization children receive from teachers' practices and reproduce through peer interactions. I find heteronormativity permeates preschool classrooms, where teachers construct (and occasionally disrupt) gendered sexuality in a number of different ways, and children reproduce (and sometimes resist) these identities and norms in their daily play. Teachers use what I call facilitative, restrictive, disruptive, and passive approaches to sexual socialization in preschool classrooms. Teachers' approaches to gendered sexual socialization varied across preschools observed and affected teachers' response to children's behaviors, such as heterosexual romantic play (kissing and relationships), bodily displays, and consent. Additionally, my data suggest young children are learning in preschool that boys have gendered power over girls' bodies. I find that before children have salient sexual identities of their own, children are beginning to make sense of heteronormativity and rules associated with sexuality through interactions with their teachers and peers in preschool.
Descriptors: Gender Differences, Preschool Education, Sexuality, Teacher Student Relationship, Preschool Children, Preschool Teachers, Ethnography, Sexual Identity, Self Concept, Socialization, Classroom Techniques, Play, Intimacy, Child Behavior, Power Structure, Human Body, Peer Relationship, Participant Observation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A