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Critical Pedagogy, Sexuality Education and Young People

Issues about Democracy and Active Citizenry


Edited By Fida Sanjakdar and Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip

Critical Pedagogy, Sexuality Education and Young People presents cutting-edge empirical and theoretical research on the role of critical pedagogy in transforming sexuality education. Featuring the work of scholars from around the globe, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Finland, this unique collection of work expands the meaning of pedagogy in the field of sexuality education by augmenting young people’s voices and agency, and by emphasizing a democratic and civic focus. This volume identifies and interrogates theoretical frameworks based on critical theory and critical pedagogical discourses, cross-cultural studies and critical literacy to offer new ways to conceptualize critical pedagogy in sexuality education. Many of the practical classroom applications presented will engage educators and classroom teachers in the areas of curriculum design, classroom pedagogies and institutional reform. They can also be applied to the formulation and implementation of more effective policies for sexuality education involving schools, community groups and students. The chapters in this volume interrogate texts, institutions, social relations and ideologies impacting contemporary sexuality education policies and pedagogical practices, prompting a consideration of alternative models of sexuality education for today’s globalized age.

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3. Educating for Consent: Beyond the Binary (Elsie Whittington / Rachel Thomson)


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3. Educating for Consent: Beyond the Binary



Within the fields of sex and sexuality research and education, consent is an important and contested term. Consent can operate as a signifier of good, ethical sexual practice and establishing its presence (or obvious absence) is central to legal definitions of rape and sex. In the UK, and also globally, there is a new wave of interest and debate around sexual consent. We suggest that this moment of interest and concern about consent and children and young people’s sexuality has arisen in the UK from revelations and agitation around historical child sexual exploitation that began in 2011, as well as from the worries about new technologies of communication (Clapton, Cree, & Smith, 2013). The current state of anxiety around child sexual exploitation can be understood as a moment of ‘reaction’ that is energising discussions of consent, constraint, risk and protection. As with previous moments of reaction, there is potential for the development of new discourses and vocabularies for ethical sexual practice and education.

This chapter will contextualise the development of discourses of consent within the UK, outlining how it is broadly understood and taught within sex education. Our aim is both to document and problematize the term, including the messages that consent education commonly delivers. The chapter will end by considering how different terminologies and pedagogies for teaching and learning about consent...

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