A sexuality education discourses framework: conservative, liberal, critical and post-modern

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Sexuality education debates are layered with discourses based on markedly different constructions of sexuality. Rather than seeing these discourses as purely oppositional, this article frames them as complex and varied. It provides a new framework for understanding sexuality education which differentiates 28 discourses by orientation to education, whether conservative, liberal, critical, or postmodern. Their key assumptions, school-based approaches, sexuality frameworks, authorities, and methods are detailed. The article argues the value of considering multiple approaches and postmodern perspectives. This framework provides an introduction to sexuality education for those new to it and a fresh (re)conceptualisation of the field for other readers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-175
Number of pages43
JournalAmerican Journal of Sexuality Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • sexuality
  • education
  • discourses
  • conservative
  • liberal
  • critical
  • postmodern


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