Introduction to The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education

  • Louisa Allen
  • Mary Lou Rasmussen


The Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education draws together a vibrant collection of writings from around the globe that highlight key debates and signal new developments in the field of critical sexuality education studies (Plummer 2008). A volume of over 900 pages and 32 contributions, involving 56 sexuality researchers, it is one of the first handbooks to attempt such an international overview focused specifically on sexuality education. Our aim has been to assemble contributions from a range of disciplinary fields, across a wide breadth of regional, national, and transnational contexts. We have sought to offer diverse and compelling accounts of how sexuality education is conceptualised, practised, politicised, regulated, struggled over, reconfigured, and hoped for. Imperative to this delineation of the field has been capturing the pulsating richness of the landscape of sexuality education research internationally.The handbook is structured into four parts, curated by leading scholars in the field of critical sexualities studies. The handbook is structured into four parts, curated by leading scholars in the field of critical sexualities studies; Global Assemblages of Sexuality Education (Part I), Sexual Cultures, Entertainment Media and Communication Technologies (Part II), Sexualities Education in Schools (Part II) and Re-animating what else sexuality education research can do, be and become (Part IV). Importantly, this handbook does not equate sexuality education with safer sex education; such an approach narrows the scope of the field. Instead, this text critically delineates the field to date, while sketching innovative conceptual and pedagogical possibilities for the future.


  1. Alldred, P., & David, M. (2007). Get real about sex: The politics and practice of sex education. London: McGraw-Hill Education.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, L. (2005). Sexual subjects: Young people, sexuality, and education. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allen, L. (2011). Young people and sexuality education: Rethinking key debates. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen, L. (2012). Pleasure’s perils? Critically reflecting on pleasure’s inclusion in sexuality education. Sexualities, 15(3–4), 455–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barad, K. (2012). On touching—The inhuman that therefore I am. A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 25(3), 206–223.Google Scholar
  6. Bashford, A., & Strange, C. (2004). Public pedagogy: Sex education and mass communication in the mid-twentieth century. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 13(1), 71–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bennett, J. (2010). Vibrant matter: A political ecology of things. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Blaise, M. (2013). Activating micropolitical practices in the early years: (Re)assembling bodies and participant observations. In R. Coleman, & J. Ringrose (Eds.), Deleuze and research methodologies (pp. 184–200). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Coole, D, & Frost, S (Eds.). (2010). New materialisms: Ontology, agency, and politics. London: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  10. DeLanda, M. (2002). Intensive science and virtual philosophy. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  11. Deleuze, G. (2007). Eight years later: 1980 interview. Two regimes of madness: Texts and interviews 1975–1995 (trans: Hodges, A., & Taormina, M., pp. 175–180). Paris: Semiotext(e).Google Scholar
  12. Epstein, D. (1994). Challenging lesbian and gay inequalities in education. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Fields, J. (2008). Risky lessons: Sex education and social inequality. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Fox, N., & Alldred, P. (2013). The sexuality-assemblage: Desire, affect, anti-humanism. The Sociological Review, 61, 769–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gilbert, J. (2014). Sexuality in school: The limits of education. London: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goodley, D., & Runswick-Cole, K. (2013). The body as disability and possibility: Theorizing the ‘leaking, lacking and excessive’ bodies of disabled children. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 15(1), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Haver, W. (1998). ‘Of mad men who practice invention to the brink of intelligibility’. In W. Pinar (Ed.), Queer theory in education (pp. 349–64). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  18. Hultman, K., & Lenz Taguchi, H. (2010). Challenging anthropocentric analysis of visual data: A relational materialist methodological approach to educational research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 23(5), 525–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Irvine, J. M. (2004). Talk about sex: The battles over sex education in the United States. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  20. James, A. E. (2010). Too early to talk about sex? Issues in creating culturally relevant sexuality education for preadolescent Black girls in the United States. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 7(2), 128–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Johnson, R. (1996). Sexual dissonances: Or the ‘impossibility’ of sexuality education. Curriculum studies, 4(2), 163–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kehily, M. J. (2002). Sexuality, gender and schooling: Shifting agendas in social learning. London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  23. Kendall, N. (2013). The sex education debates. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  24. Lenz Taguchi, H., & Palmer, A. (2013). A more ‘livable’ school? A diffractive analysis of the performative enactments of girls’ ill-/well-being with(in) school environments. Gender and Education, 25(6), 671–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lorimer, J. (2013). More-than-human visual analysis: Witnessing and evoking affect in human-nonhuman interactions. In R. Coleman, & J. Ringrose (Eds.), Deleuze and research methodologies (pp. 61–78). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  26. MacLure, M. (2013a). Researching without representation? Language and materiality in post-qualitative methodology. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6), 658–667.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. MacLure, M. (2013b). Classification or wonder? Coding as an analytic practice in qualitative research. In R. Coleman, & J. Ringrose (Eds.), Deleuze and research methodologies (pp. 164–183). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Marshall, D. (2014). Queer reparations: Dialogue and the queer past of schooling. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35(3), 347–360.Google Scholar
  29. Mills, J. (2012). I should get married early: Culturally appropriate comprehensive sex education and the racialization of Somali masculinity. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 1(1), 5–30.Google Scholar
  30. Moran, J. P. (2009). Teaching sex: The shaping of adolescence in the 20th century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Pinar, W. F. (Ed.). (1998). Queer theory in education. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  32. Plummer, K. (2008). Studying sexualities for a better world? Ten years of sexualities. Sexualities: Studies in Culture and Society, 11(1/2), 7–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rasmussen, M., & Allen, L. (2014). What a concept can do? Rethinking education’s queer assemblages. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. doi: Scholar
  34. Renold, E., & Ivinson, G. (2014). Horse-girl assemblages: Towards a post-human cartography of girls’ desire in an ex-mining valleys community. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 1–16. doi: 06.2014.888841.Google Scholar
  35. Schroeder, E., & Kuriansky, J. (Eds.). (2009). Sexuality education: Past, present, and future. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  36. Sears, J. (Ed.). (1992). Sexuality and the curriculum: The politics and practices of sexuality education. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  37. Taverner, W. J., Garrity, J., Selverstone, R., & Wilson, P. (2011). Touring the world of sexuality education—A review of sexuality education: Past, present, and future. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 6(2), 206–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Trudell, B. N. (1993). Doing sex education: Gender politics and schooling. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Youdell, D., & Armstrong, F. (2011). A politics beyond subjects: The affective choreographies and smooth spaces of schooling. Emotion, Space and Society, 4, 144–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louisa Allen
    • 1
  • Mary Lou Rasmussen
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of Sociology, Research School of Social SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Personalised recommendations