Constituting a Discourse of Erotics in Sexuality Education



This chapter presents a case for the inclusion of a discourse of erotics in sexuality education. I begin by delineating the concept of a discourse of erotics and the way this builds on Fine’s (1988) seminal work around the missing discourse of desire. While it has been established that positive and empowering discourses of desire and pleasure are ‘missing’ from sex education, arguments about why their inclusion is important are less well articulated (Gagnon and Simon, 1973). To redress this situation the second part of the chapter briefly recapitulates the current research findings which support the incorporation of a discourse of erotics within sexuality programmes. This discussion proposes that a discourse of erotics may have gendered benefits for young women and men’s experience and expression of sexuality. The final section considers the implications of a discourse of erotics for particular sectors of the youth population such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and intersex youth (LGBTI), those from different cultural and religious backgrounds as well as young people with disabilities.


Young People Sexual Activity Sexual Desire Sexuality Education Sexual Pleasure 
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© Louisa Allen 2005

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