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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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12. ‘Waiting for the Big Talk’: The Role of Sexuality Education from the View of Parents Living in Multicultural Surroundings (Veronika Honkasalo)


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12. ‘Waiting for the Big Talk’: The Role of Sexuality Education from the View of Parents Living in Multicultural Surroundings1



European countries saw a significant increase in the number of asylum seekers during 2015.2 The public discussion of this was characterised by views that called for stricter border control and immigration policies, a discussion soon coloured by stereotypical and racist notions of asylum seekers and sexuality. In Finland, numerous professionals (including sexuality education experts) claimed that many asylum seekers, especially young males, would need sexuality education to learn how to behave in Finnish society. It is not a new phenomenon for sexuality and racialisation to be intertwined, and for stereotypical and threatening notions of ‘immigrants’ to be highlighted by an argument grounded in sexuality (see Bredström, 2009; Røthing & Svendsen, 2011). What was missing in the public discourse was the dialogical dimension of sexuality education. Young males and young women’s own understandings and experiences of sexuality were almost entirely ignored (Honkasalo, 2016). In my research on sexuality education, racism and multiculturalism in Finnish schools, cultural representations of and global perspectives on sexuality education are employed. However, views of sexuality from a Finnish perspective remain unique and superior in relation to minorities in particular. In Finnish schools, sexuality education serves to construct an idea of Nordic sexuality education as something exceptional, especially in relation to gender equality and levels of individual freedom (Honkasalo,...

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