The pleasure imperative? Reflecting on sexual pleasure’s inclusion in sex education and sexual health

WOOD, Rachel, HIRST, Julia, WILSON, Liz and BURNS-O'CONNELL, Georgina (2018). The pleasure imperative? Reflecting on sexual pleasure’s inclusion in sex education and sexual health. Sex Education, 1-14.

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14681...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2018.1468318

Abstract

This article offers an empirically grounded contribution to scholarship exploring the ways in which pleasure is ‘put to work’ in sex and sexuality education. Such research has cautioned against framing pleasure as a normative requirement of sexual activity and hence reproducing a ‘pleasure imperative’. This paper draws on interviews with sexual health and education practitioners who engaged with Pleasure Project resources and training between 2007 and 2016. Findings suggest that practitioners tend to understand pleasure within critical frameworks that allow them to avoid normalising and (re)enforcing a pleasure imperative. Accounts also show negotiations with, and strategic deployments of, values surrounding sexual pleasure in society and culture. While some accounts suggest that a pleasure imperative does run the risk of being reproduced by practitioners, notably this is when discussing more ‘contentious’ sexual practices. Interviews also demonstrate that practitioners attempting to implement a pleasure agenda are faced with a range of challenges. While some positive, holistic, and inclusive practice has been afforded by a pleasure approach, we argue that the importance of a critical framework needs to be (re)emphasised. The paper concludes by highlighting areas for further empirical research.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Sciences (miscellaneous), Education
Departments: Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities > Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2018.1468318
SWORD Depositor: Margaret Boot
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 11 May 2018 11:37
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2018 12:15
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21059

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