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ERIC Number: EJ1406172
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2024
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7925
EISSN: EISSN-1469-3623
The Virgin and the Mother: Schoolgirl Stories and Their Implications for Girls' Lives
Rachel Silver
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v54 n1 p163-181 2024
This article demonstrates how discursive constructions of pregnant schoolgirls produce social and material consequences for girls in Southern Africa. Critical feminist scholars have argued that diverse actors frame girls across the global South as either monolithic, sexualised victims and sites for intervention or as hyper-agents, uniquely capable of changing the world. In either case, pregnancy is pathologised and girls' education is put forth as the solution to untimely sexuality and poverty. Through an ethnographic study of student pregnancy in Malawi, I show how education actors leveraged stories of pregnant schoolgirls to inform curriculum, policy, and resource distribution; and how young women engaged with these stories in school. I focus in particular on three students. While my renderings of these girls' stories are inherently partial, they demonstrate how binary discourse can shape girls' educational access and retention, even as it misaligns with their lives.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malawi
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A