Adolescence, Trans Phenomena, and the Politics of Sexuality Education

  • Gabrielle Owen


As ‘transgender’ increasingly becomes a subject position that is culturally available to young people through its circulation in media and popular culture and its proliferation in the institutional discourses of medicine, psychology, and education, so do the stakes increase for understanding its radical social potential and its limits within hegemonic discourse. What does the increasing availability of ‘transgender’ as a subject position do to conceptions of sexuality education? How can trans phenomena and transgender theory provide a context for reimagining the role of the school in the production of sexual subjectivities? Central to these questions is the question of ‘adolescence’ itself as a discursive and performative category with specific social and cultural functions. This chapter theorizes both transgender and adolescence as a way to unravel fixed notions of developmental sequence, gender identity, sexuality, and selfhood, positing the radical potential of queer and trans phenomena to rethink the politics of sexuality education.


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© 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

  • Gabrielle Owen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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