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



Recommendations for Further Study


Research Format


Further study primarily needs to reflect on the question on methodology. Most of the entries opened up in the present literature study need to be confirmed and expanded by future researchers' "descendence" to the discursive level of parent-child, and peer-peer interactions, either by means of in-dept autobiographical or semi-participant methods. In consistency of the currently chosen theoretical motives, a preference is reserved for detailed semi-structured interviews, which need to be examined on rhetoric and narrative in relation to content. The need for children (opposing adolescents) as research objects is debatable, not because of ethical concerns, but given the infrastructure of sexological cultures which is governed by age stratification. On the other hand, this is the only source that might clarify the reconstructive processes inherent in autobiographical data (cf. Ernest Borneman).


Numeric Approach


Hypothesis generating correlations may be further elaborated upon using the "cross-cultural" approach (as pioneered by Textor). Data and processing tools can be derived from the SCCS Codebook, available on CD-ROM. In selected cases additional data can be drawn from the Atlas Volume using phrase search via PDF format. The Atlas does not embody a "pinpointed" standard sample, and does not allow easy processing. Only a portion of the SCCS sources could be reviewed for the Atlas; this awaits expansion using the entire collection. On the other hand, many Atlas sources provide relevant data for SCCS societies but were probably or definitely not examined for the original ratings (as judged from the Focussed Bibliography).



Nonnumeric Approach


There appears to be a paucity of in-dept descriptive accounts of the erotic experience of growing up. These accounts are an absolute necessity for (a) a delineation of what is to be understood as eroticism arguing from a developmental point of view; (b) an exploration of entries to the study of erotogenesis and its environmental determination; (c) an exploration of the possible range of trajectories that are to form the basis of a conceptual appreciation of normality within "cultural" settings; and (d) an exploration of the possible preconditions of adverse reactions to experiences that can not be appreciated as normative within these settings. "Curricular salience" can be studied at the level of inter-cultural analysis, and focussing on intracultural variability and subcultural patterns.



Developmental Sexualities: Culture to Community to Individual


A rather well explored theme is that of the development / construction of "variant" orientation within alleged "variant-phobic" or "normalist" environments ("homosexuality" within U.S. "homophobic"[1] and "heterosexist"[2] society). A rather unexplored theme is that of "deviate" orientation within "deviance-hostile" environments ("paedophilia" within U.S. "abuse culture" [Kincaid]). Both the fact that such studies are apparently not appreciated or funded[3], and the data they might generate are dramatically and immediately "culture"-identifying, and of obvious interest to constructionists. In identifying and mapping cultures as construing agents from the individual's experience, study needs to be directed to these nonnormative or nontypical experiences.



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[1] This concept was explored in at least 47 dissertations (DAI) featuring the term (or derivates) in the title since 1994.

[2] This concept was explored in at least 12 dissertations (DAI) featuring the term (or derivates) in the title since 1996. See for instance Flowers, P. & Buston, K. (2001) "I was terrified of being different": Exploring gay men's accounts of growing-up in a heterosexist society, J Adolesc 24,1:51-65

[3] However, see Ivey, G. & Simpson, P. (1998) The psychological lives of paedophiles: a phenomenological study, South Afr J Psychol 28,1