Teaching It Straight: Sexuality Education Across Post-State-Socialist Contexts



This chapter explores how sex education is navigated in post-socialist sites in relation to discourses of purity, childhood innocence, and nation-building. We examine how the politics of sexuality education render students sexual subjects through official, evaded, and hidden curricula, in a municipal secondary school in Yekaterinburg, Russia and a Polish diasporic immersion school in Alberta, Canada. We argue that education and sex education are involved in what we describe as “teaching it straight”—the continued insistence on (and frequent failure of) straightening students into heteronormative life paths and desires. Drawing on the works of queer theorists and our own autobiographical voices, we develop an oppositional method of “telling it slantwise”—looking at contradictions, silent moments, and queer possibilities within normatively ordered school life.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s StudiesSimon Fraser UniversityVancouverCanada
  2. 2.TorontoCanada

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