Entertainment media have long been identified as having a key role to play in education about sex and relationships.
All too often in studies of sexual learning the media have been assessed for their potentially negative effects on young people. For example, studies have correlated consumption of particular media forms with early sexual intercourse or teenage pregnancy, while parents and schools have been seen as providing a positive corrective.
However empirical research shows that this simple binary is not always accurate: in some instances entertainment media may offer positive information and representations while school or parents often offer more moralizing or conservative perspectives. For example, a young person growing up in a homophobic family may see happy queer characters in a sitcom; or young people attending a school thatemphasizes young women’s role as gatekeepers and controllers of men’s sexuality may find helpful TV dramas that explore women’s active sexual agency.
This special issue of the journal Sex Education will engage with these and related concerns, pausing to take stock of where we are now, especially with respect to the positive role that old and newer forms of media can play in learning about sex.
Papers may focus on any aspect of the entertainment media, and on any aspect of healthy sexual development – including, but not limited to, open communication about sex, assertiveness, sexual agency, sexual identity, or an acceptance that sex can be pleasurable.
If you are not sure whether your article is appropriate for this special issue, please feel free to send an abstract in the first instance to firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles for the special issue will be subject to normal peer review in line with the procedures of the journal.
You should submit your article for review by the 24th October 2014. You can find the journal’s instructions for authors at:
When you submit your article will be asked whether you are submitting for a special issue. Please use the pull-down menu to note that you are submitting your paper for the special issue The Media’s Evolving Role in Sex Education. Please also note in the manuscript of your article that you are submitting it for this special issue.
If you have any questions about the mechanics of submitting a paper for Sex Education you should find the answers in the guidelines for authors mentioned above.
More on the guest editors
Alan McKee is a Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, and leads the ‘Promoting Healthy Sexual Development’ research group at QUT. He is particularly interested in the relationship between media consumption and healthy sexual development. He has published in the Journal of Sex Research, Archives of Sexual Behavior, International Journal of Sexual Health and Sex Education.
Sara Bragg is a Senior Research Fellow in the Education Research Centre at the University of Brighton. She is co-author of many books, reports and articles on young people’s cultures including Young People, Sex and the Media (with David Buckingham, 2004); co-editor of Children and Young People’s Cultural Worlds (with Mary Jane Kehily, 2013) and of Rethinking Youth Cultures in the Age of Global Media (with Buckingham and Kehily, 2014).
Tristan Taormino is an award-winning writer, sex educator, speaker, filmmaker, and radio host. She is the editor of 25 anthologies, author of seven books, and co-editor of The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. As the head of Smart Ass Productions, she has directed and produced sixteen sex-ed films. Tristan’s work, writing and films are routinely used in college courses to explore the complex issues of relationship and sexual diversity, politics, and media.