Children and the Politics of Sexuality

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This book discusses already established accounts about the sexualization of children through a theoretical and an empirical framework which bring together popular culture, consumption, sexuality, selfhood and childhood. Adopting the view that the debate about the sexualization of childhood is socially constructed, it pushes beyond the dominant preconceptions about ‘the risks of childhood’.
Moral judgements about children’s welfare are perhaps nowhere more transient and controversial than when it comes to children’s sexuality, something that has deep historical roots. However, and contrary to recurrent fears and moral panics about the loss of childhood as a result of a tidal wave of a sexualizing culture, this book theorizes the notion of children’s sexualization within the social construction of myths of childhood innocence while also taking into account the extent of young people’s actual engagement with media and technology in contemporary Western societies. It is within such a contextual framework that this book unfolds, bringing together a historical contextualization of childhood, sexuality and pornography with contemporary empirical accounts regarding the ‘presentation of the self’ and self-management.

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