I was recently asked what drew me to research sexuality. My answer was that this area carries a social stigma that renders talk about sexuality and its pleasures often uncomfortable and sometimes perverse. This constitution of sexuality conflicts with my view that it is a potential source of positive energy and pleasure, about which there is nothing inherently embarrassing or dirty. Instead, pleasure adds meaning to our lives (Tepper, 2000) and is a defining feature and motivating factor of social action. Feminists have often argued that the ultimate purpose of research is ‘to change the world, not only to study it’ (Stanley, 1990, p. 14). The research discussed in this book has evolved out of my own sense of a need for change with regard to the social constitution of sexuality and its institutional capture in sex education.1


Young People Sexual Health Sexuality Education Teenage Pregnancy Sexual Knowledge 
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© Louisa Allen 2005

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