Ambiguities around sexuality: An approach to understanding harassment and bullying of young people in british schools

J. (Joy) Trotter

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Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of LGBT Youth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is based on a small study undertaken in 2001, which examined the experiences of and responses to sexual harassment and bullying adopted by different professionals (teachers, education social workers, youth workers and a school nurse) and by young people (12 to 25-year-olds). It draws together some of the literature relating to young people and sexuality, the main results and themes of the study, and ideas about ambiguity around sexuality in British secondary schools. The author explores six key themes: language, bullying, sex education, compulsory heterosexuality, visibility/invisibility and ambiguity. Applying Mary Douglas notions of pollution and danger, the author shows how they provide a new perspective for understanding the harassment and bullying of young women and men, offering an explanation for the ambiguities and dissonance that professionals and young people experience in relation to violence in their schools.

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