Intersex bodies in sexuality education: On the edge of cultural difference

Annette Bromdal, Mary Louise Rasmussen, Fida Sanjakdar, Louisa Elizabeth Allen, Kathleen Anne Quinlivan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Myths and ignorance regarding intersexuality sometimes result in intersex bodies inhabiting the space of the ‘embarrassing other’ in sexuality education. Utilising Nikki Sullivan’s notion of somatechnics, we seek to untangle how people associated with this category cannot be understood as separate from the technologies of medical and educational institutions that regulate their bodies. Drawing upon data collected from a broader study exploring cultural discourses in school-based sexuality education in Australia and New Zealand, this analysis explores how gendered bodily norms of discipline and regulation intersect. We focus on the pedagogical potential of conversations about intersex and hope to inspire educators to work with and against students’ curiosity for stories about what they perceive to be ‘embarrassing bodies’ and explore how power accrues to particular bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Sexuality Education
EditorsLouisa Allen, Mary Lou Rasmussen
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781137400338
ISBN (Print)9781137400321
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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