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'More than boy, girl, male, female': Exploring young people's views on gender diversity within and beyond school contexts

Bragg, Sara, Renold, Emma ORCID:, Ringrose, Jessica and Jackson, Carolyn 2018. 'More than boy, girl, male, female': Exploring young people's views on gender diversity within and beyond school contexts. Sex Education 18 (4) , pp. 420-434. 10.1080/14681811.2018.1439373

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This paper explores the views of young people aged 12-14 on gender diversity, drawing upon school-based qualitative data from a study conducted in England in 2015-16. Although earlier feminist and queer research in schools often found evidence of variable local gender cultures and gender non-conformity, we argue that the contemporary context, with its increasing global awareness of gender diversity, offers young people significant new ways of learning about and doing gender. Findings reveal that many young people have expanded vocabularies of gender identity/expression; critical reflexivity about their own positions; and principled commitments to gender equality, gender diversity and the rights of gender and sexual minorities. We also show how young people are negotiating wider cultures of gendered and sexual violence. Schools are providing some spaces and learning opportunities to support gender and sexual diversity. However, overall it appears that young people’s immediate social cultural worlds are constructed in such a way that gender binary choices are frequently inevitable, from school uniforms and toilets to sports cultures and friendships. Our conclusion touches on the implications of our findings for how educational practitioners, external agencies and young people can address gender rights, equality and justice in schools and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1468-1811
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 February 2018
Date of Acceptance: 8 February 2018
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 23:39

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