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Sexuality in School

The Limits of Education

2014
Author:

Jen Gilbert

Sexuality in School

Explores and expands on the role of sexuality in teaching and learning

Jen Gilbert investigates the breakdowns, clashes, and controversies that flare up when sexuality enters spaces of schooling. She draws attention to the explosive but also compelling force of erotic life in teaching and learning, illustrating how the most intimate of our experiences can come to shape how we see and act in the world.

Sexuality in School is an excellent contribution to youth studies and sexuality studies, and provides a fine link between queer theory and educational studies, as well. Jen Gilbert’s use of psychoanalytic theory gives us challenging ways to grapple with and revel in the difficulties of education, the subjects of sexuality, and the uncertainties of youth and age. Her work shows that these difficulties pervade teaching and can invite educators to try to understand the challenges of desire, hospitality, and possibility. By combining her fine theoretical analysis of controversies (a term she problematizes nicely) and her intricate discussion of the relationships of desire that structure learning, Gilbert gives us a way to explore education in general, but also to more fully understand the particularities of youth and sexuality.

Cris Mayo, author of LGBTQ Youth & Education: Policies & Practices

From concerns over the bullying of LGBTQ youth and battles over sex education to the regulation of sexual activity and the affirmation of queer youth identity, sexuality saturates the school day. Rather than understand these conflicts as an interruption to the work of education, Jen Gilbert explores how sexuality comes to bear on and to enliven teaching and learning.

Gilbert investigates the breakdowns, clashes, and controversies that flare up when sexuality enters spaces of schooling. Education must contain the volatility of sexuality, Gilbert argues, and yet, when education seeks to limit the reach of sexuality, it risks shutting learning down. Gilbert penetrates this paradox by turning to fiction, film, legal case studies, and personal experiences. What, she asks, can we learn about school from a study of sexuality?

By examining the strange workings of sexuality in schools, Gilbert draws attention to the explosive but also compelling force of erotic life in teaching and learning. Ultimately, this book illustrates how the most intimate of our experiences can come to shape how we see and act in the world.

Sexuality in School

Jen Gilbert is associate professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, Toronto.

Sexuality in School

Sexuality in School is an excellent contribution to youth studies and sexuality studies, and provides a fine link between queer theory and educational studies, as well. Jen Gilbert’s use of psychoanalytic theory gives us challenging ways to grapple with and revel in the difficulties of education, the subjects of sexuality, and the uncertainties of youth and age. Her work shows that these difficulties pervade teaching and can invite educators to try to understand the challenges of desire, hospitality, and possibility. By combining her fine theoretical analysis of controversies (a term she problematizes nicely) and her intricate discussion of the relationships of desire that structure learning, Gilbert gives us a way to explore education in general, but also to more fully understand the particularities of youth and sexuality.

Cris Mayo, author of LGBTQ Youth & Education: Policies & Practices

An intriguing, provocative, and forward-thinking book.

CHOICE

Sexuality in School

Contents

Introduction: Queer Provocations
1. Backward and Forward: Narrating the Queer Child
2. There Is No Such Thing as an Adolescent: Sex Education as Taking a Risk
3. Histories of Misery: It Gets Better and the Promise of Pedagogy
4. Thinking in Sex Education: Between Prohibition and Desire
5. Education as Hospitality: Toward a Reluctant Manifesto

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Sexuality in School

UMP blog: LGBT issues are not the exclusive concern of LGBT students.

When lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues emerge in schools, it is often as controversy. Battles over sex education, worries about young children reading picture books about same-sex families, outrage at boys taking boys to the prom, lawsuits over gay-straight alliances, and concerns about transgender students finding appropriate bathrooms: all these examples suggest that LGBT sexuality and schooling don’t mix.