Growing Up Sexually

The Sexual Curriculum (Oct., 2002)

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Janssen, D. F. (Oct., 2002). Growing Up Sexually. Volume II: The Sexual Curriculum: The Manufacture and Performance of Pre-Adult Sexualities. Interim Report. Amsterdam, The Netherlands




Abstract: This introductory note serves as a guide to the current collection of chapters providing a cross-culturally informed support of symbolic interactionist/ social constructionist sexual socialisation theory, otherwise known as "scripting" theory.





Overview... 18

Preliminary Notes. 18

Structural Design.. 18

Data. 18

Introduction to the Chapters. 19


Preliminary Notes


The present literature inventory is concerned with extracting cultural and cross-cultural principles that govern the socialisation and expression of sexual behaviour in the pre-adult individual. The data used for the chapters briefly introduced and legitimised infra are partly distilled from the Atlas Volume, and are partly the result of additional specific literature searches. As a whole, the chapters represent a condensation and a limitation of an original interim Thematic Volume embodying rough topic-organised extracts from the Atlas. For full coverage of the subjects and for full referencing, the reader is referred to this former collection, and to the Atlas. For the sake of brevity and readability, the current thematic volume refers to original preparatory papers that will not be published.


The Atlas Volume provides an ongoing, preliminary, ethnographically organised annotated bibliography for the cross-cultural study of sexual behaviour trajectories. As such, it offered an identification of previously valued entries and paradigms used by ethnographers and sociologists to cover the issue of sexual behaviour "socialisation". Thus, it is to provide the inspiration for further subject-based and approach-identified literature reviewing. From this material, a selection of topics was chosen to illustrate what had become a compelling entry to viewing matters, namely, the process of securing a ground of existence, evolution and expression for sexual behaviour by attributing to it a pragmatic, social identity, thereby legitimising its enactment. Inherently, the demonstration of cross-cultural variability associated with this process is arrived at via a constructionist-interactionist approach.



Structural Design


Each chapter is introduced by an abstract, an contents clarification, and an introduction. Chapters are concluded with closing arguments.





The material collected in this Volume was arrived at in various stages. Sources were selected for their constructionist approach, their subject, their (cross-)cultural setting, and their availability. No limitation was applied in the selection of sources, provided that crucial material was published in academic periodicals or presented at academic meetings.



Introduction to the Chapters


An addendum entitled "Chapter Abstracts" provides for a cursory overview of the chapter's contents.



I Theory


Chapters 1-4 explore and formulate theoretical assumptions that govern sexual "developmental" issues; these theoretical baselines are used and demonstrated by ethnographic and historical materials. An introductory chapter (1) lists theoretical traditions in developmental sexology, surveying their use for application within a poly-ethnographic format. Chapter 2 outlines historical aspects of the sexological invasion of childhood. Two further chapters (3 and 4) delineate and assess the theoretical positioning within the current project as selected from the review in chapter 1, which is a constructionist approach. Departing from a critique on the ramifications used in the "cross-cultural method" (Appendix I), chapter 3 overviews applications of an interactionist interpretation of sexual socialisation based on a reformulation by Becker. Chapter 4 cursory explores how, according to theoretical formulations, language mobilises and immobilises the inner- and outer-geography of the sexological order.



II The Sexual Scene


Chapters 5-15 review ethnohistorical materials pertaining to sexual socialisation processes within a constructionist-performative format. This field is approached via diverse entries including the sexualised-operationalised body (12, 13), and the interactive order (7-10, 14) fostering curricularisation processes (5), within its discursive settings (11). Within this format, children manufacture, assimilate and invest into a scene that accommodates sexual behaviour (chapter 6) and romantic love (15).


The former chapters are sensitised by an appraisal of multi-agenda 'colloquial' discussions of eroticisation processes within the current American context (chapter 16).



III Selected Conclusions


A closing chapter (17) rehearses selected major highlights extracted from the preceding chapters.





Five appendices provide lateral and background data.


(I) An appraisal of relevant data generated by the cross-cultural method, providing a cursory exploration of the structural level of sexual trajectories;

(II) An appraisal of general ethnographic coverage of early sexual behaviour and socialisation;

(III) A literature review of contemporary interpretations of sexualities located within school environments using a performative approach;

(IV) A discussion of meta-scientific assumptions on "development", as a preliminary to "post-developmentalist" perspectives on sexual trajectories;






Selected tables as integrated in Volumes I and II.


(i) "SCCS" measures, to be understood in the context of SCCS time/place specifications

(ii) "Whiting and Child" measures





Supporting specific GUS chapters, or generally.


(a) addendum to paragraph 12.4.1;

(b) bibliography supporting chapter 9

(c) bibliography supporting chapter 14

(d) tables supporting chapter 16

(e) list of terms

(f) [in preparation] addendum to chapter 8



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