• Matthew Waites


Around the world, the regulation of young people’s sexual behaviour is the focus of intense conflict. Amid the culture clashes and reactionary responses produced by globalization, young people’s sexuality is a subject causing deep anxiety, and has become the focus for many projects of social and moral renewal. Debates over appropriate forms of emotional and sexual expression between adolescents proceed against a backdrop of intense concern about child sexual abuse and paedophilia. For some, the involvement of children and young people in sexual behaviour amid a rising tide of sexualising imagery in the media is at the heart of social and moral breakdown. For others, the liberalisation of attitudes towards sexual behaviour and increasing openness is evidence of social progress. The meanings of childhood and youth in relation to sexuality are fiercely contested.


Sexual Behaviour Child Sexual Abuse Sexual Identity Sexual Offence Parliamentary Debate 
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© Matthew Waites 2005

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  • Matthew Waites

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