This is a research project to inform the National Assembly for Wales cross-party group, ‘Children, Sexualities, Sexualisation and Equalities’.
This qualitative research project is funded by Cardiff University, the NSPCC and the Children’s Commissioner’s Office for Wales. It has been designed specifically to inform the National Assembly for Wales cross-party group, ‘Children, Sexualities, Sexualisation and Equalities’. In brief, the research aims to provide a nuanced empirical portrayal of children’s own sexual cultures. It will explore how children make meaning of ‘the sexualisation of culture’ in the context of their everyday lives and in the hope of creating more child-centred policy interventions and resources in the future. Its core aims are three fold:
- to address the lack of knowledge about children’s own sexual cultures in the context of their everyday lives;
- to foreground equalities and specifically explore how gender, social class, ethnicity and religion interact to shape children’s experiences;
- to apply article12 of the United Nations on the Conventions of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and enable children to identify and shape future research, policies and practice.
Over 140 children between the ages of 10-13 have participated in individual and friendship group interviews. Project findings will be launched at the Welsh Assembly in June 2013.
If you would like to know more about this research project, e-mail Emma Renold at renold [at] cardiff.ac.uk.
If you’re currently involved in any research projects around the themes of sexuality and gender in relation to children or young people, please do get in touch at youngsexualities [at] gmail.com if you’d like us to share the information.
The second seminar in the ESRC-funded seminar series “Understanding the young sexual body” is taking place next Friday 1 March at the University of Greenwich, entitled “The errant body”. It focusses on the challenges that arise in the delivery of sexual and reproductive health services, and will explore the ways in which young people’s beliefs and attitudes, in a context of social and cultural change, may affect contraceptive and reproductive decisions.
The seminar series as a whole foregrounds the body whilst drawing upon cutting edge research on:
- Young people’s sexual health
- Sexual relations and relationships
- Sexual subjectivities
- Sexuality education.
It explores the role of media, popular culture, commerce and technologies in the construction of different understandings of the young sexual body.
The third seminar, “The invaded/invading body: putting culture and context centre stage” focusses on understanding young people’s experience of sexual violence, foregrounding culture, context and relationality. It will take place at Cardiff University on 5 July 2013.
The fourth seminar focusses on “The desiring body” and will take place at the Institute of Education on 8 November 2013.
You can find more details and book a place for upcoming seminars at the website: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/about/schools/health/about/events/esrc
Bridging the divide: Researching children/ young people and sexuality
Sponsored by the Space, Sexualities and Queer Research Group
Joe Hall (University of Hull)
Nelly Ali (Birkbeck)
The sub-fields of children’s and youth geographies and geographies of sexualities often deal with intersecting themes that cross-cut the (seemingly) mutually exclusive nature of these fields. In our proposed sessions we aim to bring these themes to the forefront and bridge the divide between these geographical sub-fields by prompting a stimulating discussion between children’s and youth geographers (and scholars of childhood and youth more broadly) and researchers of sexuality. We hope this long overdue interaction will kick start a rich and rewarding dialogue that may continue for years to come.
We are seeking abstracts for a methodologically focused paper session that we hope will address the practical aspects of conducting research with children/ young people around issues of sexuality. This may include papers given by early career researchers who have, or are about to explore a topic of sexuality with children/ young people in contrasting socio-cultural contexts. It may also include papers by experienced researchers who may be able to offer insight and practical advice for conducting ethically sound research with various types of children/ young people. We also welcome papers that explore innovative approaches to data collection and analysis.
Please submit proposed titles and abstracts of not more than 250 words to Joe Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Nelly Ali (email@example.com) by 8 February 2013.
We plan for the paper session to be followed by a panel session of invited speakers who will provide more opportunity for discussion and exploration of these themes.
PG Conference Booking Form
Booking for our postgraduate conference at Cardiff University is now open! The link to download the form is above and you are welcome to post or email it back to us. Places are limited so early booking is recommended. Attendees will receive further details via email.
For further details about the event please click here.
Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies has released a call for papers for a special issue which will be of interest to many of our network:
For a 2013 special issue of Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies (Volume 7), we invite contributions to critical theory formation relevant to, or situated at, the young masculinities/young sexualities research juncture. Regular papers (7,000-9,000 words) are preferred, review essays or other formats will be considered too.
We are specifically interested in innovative, unorthodox, and/or cross-pollinating perspectives on gender/sex/sexuality/maturity rubrification as ongoing, but also increasingly ironic, exercise. Across social media culture, young masculinities (as young femininities) are increasingly on display. This impacts on body image, researchers find; but it also impacts on how to imagine bodiliness. Recent thematization of “sexualization” has gravitated onto girls, referring to the potentially ungenerous vista of postfeminism (analogous vistas may be emerging for men’s studies). Boys are said to present the missing link, or blind spot, in many related discussions–so how to think missing links and blind spots?
Call for Papers: September 5, 2012
Proposals due: December 31, 2012
Final drafts due: February 15, 2013
Final revisions due: June 1, 2013
Publication: June/July, 2013
For more information please click here.
Thymos is edited by Diederik Janssen, keynote speaker for the Young Sexualities Postgraduate Conference in January. If you’d like to find out more information about the conference please go to our events page.
An excellent interview has been posted here on The Guardian today with Jarrett Chamberlin, an inspiring teenager from Bristol who volunteers with SHARP (Sexual Health Action: Real People) to answer younger teens’ questions about sex that they can’t or won’t discuss at school or home. It’s wonderful to hear about this project as one issue that we are very concerned about here at Young Sexualities is the quality, politics, and availability of sex education guidance for both teachers and students (a key research topic in our work with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Cross Party Group on Sexualisation).
I found of particular interest the fact that SHARP are welcoming parents to their marquee as well:
For the first time this month we’ve got a space in the city centre where we’re putting up a huge marquee where people can come and ask us questions. This time, we’re aiming to reach parents too – we want to de-stigmatise those awkward conversations parents and children have about sex.
It is unclear from The Guardian article or the flyer advertising the event (above – full size version here) whether children and teens are being invited to bring their parents along, or if parents would be welcomed unaccompanied. Either way, this invitation to parents highlights the perceived increasing distance between parent-child knowledges and experiences of sexuality, and the discomfort felt by adults in addressing this issue. This discomfort is surely not helped by the media (and, unfortunately, the government) sensationalising the sexualisation debates and using ‘lost innocence’ as a motivation for action. When we use this ‘innocence’ discourse we paint children and teens who hold (or want to hold) sexual knowledges as beyond innocence, as lost or corrupt and, therefore, to be feared.
To learn more about this topic I recommend the Gender and Education special issue on sexualisation, as well as a book I reviewed for it, The Importance of Being Innocent by Joanne Faulkner, which explores the adult obsession with childhood innocence.
In the meantime, we wish SHARP every success with their event and future activities.
Details of our forthcoming postgraduate conference (rescheduled to January 2013 due to a change of keynote speaker) are now available here. We are currently seeking abstracts from postgraduate students from all academic disciplines to contribute to this inter-disciplinary event, as well as researchers and activists with content of specific interest to postgraduates working within the field. We hope to see you there!