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Disputing the Subject of Sex : Sexuality and Public School Controversies - Cris Mayo

Disputing the Subject of Sex

Sexuality and Public School Controversies

By: Cris Mayo

Hardcover Published: 3rd May 2004
ISBN: 9780742526587
Number Of Pages: 202

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Sexuality remains a hotly debated subject, nowhere more so than in education. This perceptive and balanced book shows that discussions of sexuality and schooling can be simultaneously polarizing and democratizing. Disputing the Subject of Sex examines controversies over sex, AIDS, and gay-inclusive multicultural education, which offer especially fruitful opportunities to explore the claims of various identities, the social aims of public schools, and the relation between schools and the publics they serve. These controversies help to show the kind of confused tumble of discourses, seemingly nonsensical policy decisions, and student resistances that are born of arguments over sexuality and community membership. In part, disputes over sexuality are driven by conservative and anti-pluralist agendas that help communities draw strong lines around themselves in an effort to stave off what they perceive as threatening shifts in gender and sexual identity. However, these disputes are also democratizing, allowing a variety of constituents to argue their case in the public sphere. Rather than choosing between one of these two positions, this book uses case studies, interviews with queer youth, and analysis of curricular texts to help readers understand how power dynamics play out in educational controversies and how they can guide us to new ideas about students' abilities to learn and relate ethically to one another about the subject of sex.

Mayo offers an invaluable answer to the burning question "How does power circulate?" through her compelling account of the interplay of policy, politics, and philosophy that shapes sex education in public schools. Disputing the Subject of Sex illustrates with remarkable lucidity how diverse conceptions of identity shape legislation and lived experience of what can and cannot be spoken within the contested "public" of schools. Through even-handed analysis of controversies surrounding such topics as AIDS, condoms, and sexuality, the book invites readers across disciplines and political spectrums to see precisely how ideas of "normal" and "deviant" are constructed through theory and practice. -- Megan Bolder, University of Toronto
This is a paperbound reprint of a 2004 book. Mayo analyzes public school curricula controversies concerning sexuality. She applies social constructionism's attention to the interplay of identity, activity, and social context in constituting sexuality to show the institutional limitations on sexual identity expressed through New York State AIDS education and multicultural curricula. She also analyzes the abstinence-only curriculum, Sex Respect , showing how it and similar programs inadvertently publicize sexual identity. -- Reference & Research Book News August 2007
Mayo provides an in-depth examination of sexuality in public school curricula and school communities. This eye-opening text should be read by all who have a vested interest in not only the institution of education, but also the community. Recommended. * CHOICE *

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. ix
Identity, Sexuality, and Theory
Sexuality and Theoryp. 3
Cautions on the Subjectp. 19
Curricular Definitions of "Community" and "Sex"
Identity and the Monolithic Communityp. 37
The Adolescent as Abstinent Heterosexualp. 65
Complex Identity and Curricular Debates
Local Values and the Open Closetp. 97
Public Sex: The Abstinence Oath and Secondary Virginityp. 119
Conclusion: Curious Alliancep. 149
Bibliographyp. 163
Indexp. 173
About the Authorp. 177
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780742526587
ISBN-10: 0742526585
Series: Curriculum, Cultures, and (Homo)Sexualities Series
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 202
Published: 3rd May 2004
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 16.5  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.44