Sperm Meets Egg? Young People’s Conceptualisations of Sexual Knowledge



In this chapter I argue that if we are to better comprehend why some young people do not put their knowledge into practice we first need to establish how young people themselves conceptualise ‘sexual knowledge’. Instead of examining the way in which sexuality education has constituted sexual knowledge, this research sought to uncover young people’s own definition of it. Starting from this premise means recognising young people have agency as sexual subjects and that their own view points are important. From this perspective young people are not simply empty vessels who absorb the knowledge to which sexuality education exposes them, but instead actively engage with the information they receive. This chapter then, prioritises young people’s own understanding of the supposed knowledge/practice ‘gap’ and calls conventional theorisations of this phenomenon into question.


Young People Sexual Activity Sexual Health Sexual Relationship Sexuality Education 
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© Louisa Allen 2005

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