Sexuality education: policy, politics and power

Year: 2014

Author: Katie, Fitzpatrick

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

  There has recently been a significant resurgence of interest in Sexuality education programmes in schools in New Zealand. Media debate suggests polarised opinions in the community while policy documents both maintain a firm place for sexuality programmes and represent a socially liberal view of the subject. The New Zealand Ministry of Education has undertaken a revision and rewrite of several sexuality based resources and high level policy documents this year (both of which I have been involved in). In this paper, I reflect on what might be driving social and political discourses of sexuality education and how such discourses are impacting policy moves. I draw on social theory to analyse and understand both the drive towards policy change and the political influences during the process.