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21-06-2019 | Issue 2/2020

Sexuality Research and Social Policy 2/2020

The Future of Evidence: Queerness in Progressive Visions of Sexuality Education

Journal:
Sexuality Research and Social Policy > Issue 2/2020
Authors:
Jamie O’Quinn, Jessica Fields
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Abstract

“Evidence” has replaced “abstinence” as the idea with foundational cultural authority in sexuality education debates, policy, and practice. In a move emblematic of this shift, leading sexual health organizations proposed the Future of Sex Education (FoSE), the first national standards for evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education that exemplified the push toward scientific, evidence-based standards. We examine FoSE’s attempts to broaden the scope of traditional evidence-based sexuality education policies and how sociological feminist analyses and queer theory can advance understandings of sexuality education’s capacity to effect social change. FoSE’s reliance on scientific evidence reinforces future-orientated narratives of (queer) youth sexuality and considers the possibilities and limitations these narratives suggest for young people’s sexual subjectivities. A theory of queer utopias complicates FoSE’s understandings of science, education, and the future, generating a queer utopic sexuality education that allows room for ambivalence and ambiguity in young people’s sexualities.

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