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Desire as interruption: young women and sexuality education in Ontario, Canada

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Danger and pleasure are terms commonly employed to describe women's sexual experiences, including those of young women. This paper explores how young women's sexual danger and pleasure are represented and characterized in official discourses, specifically those of school‐based sexuality education. Drawing on Michelle Fine's four major discourses of sexuality education, this paper uses the Ontario Curriculum and its companion Course Profiles to analyze school‐based sexuality education in Ontario, Canada. This paper describes how the discourses of victimization and individual morality dominate in the curriculum while the discourse of desire is largely absent. Because there is considerable emphasis on danger/victimization and insufficient attention paid to pleasure/desire, the paper concludes by describing how a discourse of desire might be included in sexuality education curriculum.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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