Transgender Young People’s Narratives of Intimacy and Sexual Health: Implications for Sexuality Education

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Last Updated: 06-Apr-2018 15:32

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Sexuality education as pedagogy is often fraught by the perceived need to
balance the informational needs of young people with an investment in notions of
childhood innocence. Nowhere is this perhaps more evident than in sexuality
education that seeks to be inclusive of transgender young people, often resulting
in the failure of such education to address the needs of such students. In an
attempt at addressing the relative dearth of information about what transgender
young people would like to see covered in sexuality education, in this article we
explore transgender young people’s accounts of intimacy and sexual health and
consider what this means for school-based sexuality education. To do this we
analyse discussions of intimacy from the perspectives of transgender young
people as narrated in a sample of YouTube videos. We conclude by advocating
for an approach to sexuality education that largely eschews the gendering of body
parts and gametes, and which instead focuses on function, so as to not only
address the needs of transgender young people (who may find normative
discussions of genitals distressing), but to also provide cisgender young people
with a more inclusive understanding of their own and other people’s bodies and
desires.

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