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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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4. Reconceptualising Sexuality Education in the Wake of the HIV, Ebola and Zika Epidemics (Ekua Yankah / Peter Aggleton)


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4. Reconceptualising Sexuality Education in the Wake of the HIV, Ebola and Zika Epidemics



Discourse around sexuality education is constantly changing, being shaped by a wide variety of socio-political and cultural forces as well as by epidemics of sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and syphilis, herpes, HIV, Human Papilloma Virus and others. Each of these factors in its own way influences what we think about sex and sexuality, and in turn how we teach and learn about the ‘sexual’ aspects of life. This chapter begins with an exploration of the effects of recent and emerging epidemics such as HIV, Ebola and Zika on discourse about sexuality education, in particular as it relates to young people. We then discuss the challenges and limitations of dominant forms of sexuality education as understood within current paradigms, and make suggestions for reconceptualising sexuality education to better fit in an increasingly interconnected and globalised world. Our focus will be for the large part on the broad domain of sexuality education, which may been defined as “an understanding of oneself as a sexual being in society—the feelings of pleasure and desire that may or may not lead to a sexual encounter and one’s role in developing and acting upon these feelings” (Crewe, 2016, p. 100), although we will also talk about sex education, with its more narrow focus on sexual practices and acts.

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