Researching the pedagogies of sexualities in South African higher education
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The article explores the approaches taken by South African institutions of higher education to the teaching of sexualities and gender. In a national context in which issues of human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, legal reforms around reproductive and sexual rights, and critical discussions around the meanings of culture and sexuality abound, one might expect that tertiary education would introduce young men and women to some of the key global debates on sexualities, democracy and the body. Preliminary research was undertaken to ascertain the extent to which young men and women in higher education has access to such debates, and to explore the range of disciplinary and conceptual approaches taken to "teaching sexualities". The research suggests that questions of sexualities remain largely embedded in segregated disciplines, between which there is minimal communication and where biomedical models of the body dominate all other explorations of sexual and reproductive issues. The researchers conclude that there is much work to be done to create pedagogies of sexualities in higher education in South Africa that are capable of offering young men and women access to the theories, research methodologies, and knowledge needed to tackle questions of sexual and reproductive health and rights at all levels.
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