Sex Education And Teenage Sexuality Essay

2350 words - 9 pages

For the purpose of this essay I will be critically analysing the following four articles in order to identify the ways in which personal and social policy issues contribute to issues relating to sex education and teenage sexuality; Burnie (2013), Pearson (2013), Thomson (2013) and Grimshaw (2013). In order to do this it is important to first identify how sex education and teenage sexuality are characterised within the articles and the discourses that are present in order to establish the ways in which these two issues are constructed as both a personal and social policy issue. This will also assist in proving the mutual constitution of the personal and social policy. To permit me do to this I will be concentrating on gender inequality in relation to teen sexuality, issues around risk anxieties and power disparity between the adult and child status in relation to sexual desires and the struggles between the boundaries of public and private sexuality.
The concerns in relation to teen sexuality are complex and contradictory. On one hand, children and teenagers are considered as asexual and in need of protection from what is considered an ‘adult only’ field of interest and with the other they are considered as easily susceptible to the influences of their surroundings, particularly in relation to sexual imagery. As a result of the desire to protect, teen sex is portrayed as hazardous and more often than not sex education is focused on the consequences of these dangerous sexual liaisons, historically with a focus on ‘sex hygiene’ (Thomson, 2004, p.106), then with a focus on reducing the numbers of teen pregnancy and more recently in relation to the dangers of considering ‘porn sex’ as normal sexual behaviour resulting in an inability to develop healthy future relationships.
All the articles I have chosen to look at are the personal opinion of the author, they are either opinion columns or, in the case of the Western Morning News, a feature article. This is an important consideration when looking at the content of each piece. Due to the nature of mutual constitution it can be understood that the authors own ‘personal’ has an impact on the content of each article. Again in the case of Grimshaw (2013) the author is the provider of the service that they are promoting within the article and so it would be wrong to consider this article as unbiased. It is also an example of the ways that representation within the media reinforces our notions of what is acceptable or non acceptable sexual and relationship behaviour (Carabine, 2004) and in turn how this can impact on social policy. To elaborate on this point, pressure from adult concerns in relation into pornography and how its use impacts on the development of healthy relationships (as discussed in Pearson (2013) and Thomson (2013) ) have lead to MPs attempting to introduce a mandatory opt in filter for the internet, and in Grimshaw’s case have created demand for relationship lessons which he...

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