Sexuality Education in Early Childhood

  • Kerry H. Robinson
  • Cristyn Davies


Based on empirical research, this chapter explores the complex regulatory relationship between childhood and sexuality in many Western cultures. We focus on two main areas: (i) an examination of discourses underpinning the repression and regulation of children’s access to knowledge of sexuality; and (ii) an exploration of children’s sexual subjectivities. Controversy around sexuality education with children has resulted in strict regulatory practices imposed and self-imposed on both teachers and parents. We argue that regulating children’s access to knowledge and knowledge production—associated with sexuality in particular—operates to inscribe children as ‘vulnerable’ subjects. There is a need for building strong ethical and respectful relationships and sexuality literacy early in life, which are foundational to understandings of children’s sexual citizenship, and to their health and well-being.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerry H. Robinson
    • 1
  • Cristyn Davies
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and PsychologyUniversity of Western SydneyPenrithAustralia
  2. 2.Discipline of Child and Adolescent HealthSydney Medical School, University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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