Transgender young people’s narratives of intimacy and sexual health: Implications for sexuality education.

Damien Riggs, Clare Bartholomaeus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Sexuality education as pedagogy is often fraught by the perceived requirement 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 paper 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-390
Number of pages15
JournalSex Education: Sexuality Society and Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018


  • bodies
  • gender
  • school
  • sexuality education
  • social media
  • Transgender


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