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Title:Disputing the Subject of Sex: Sexual Identity and School Controversy, New York State, 1986-1993
Author(s):Mayo, Cris
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kal Alston
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Abstract:This dissertation examines discussions of sexual identity's place in public education, arguing that it has been constrained by two structural problems: the notion that curricula themselves must reflect local values, even if those values are discriminatory; and the failure of curricula to historicize meanings and definitions of sexuality. I examine New York State's Instructional Guide for AIDS Education K-12, New York City's "Children of the Rainbow" gay-inclusive multicultural curriculum guide, New York City's "Abstinence Oath" for AIDS educators, and the "Sex Respect" curriculum to critique school policy's definitions of sex and attendant definitions of identity. In the first section of the dissertation, I survey three broad philosophical conceptions of identity. Liberalism and communitarianism, particularly expressed in school curricular debates, tend not to interrogate the varied forms of sexuality and gender. Following critiques of these two theories, I turn to postmodern theorists who address the complexity and contingency of sex, sexuality and sexual identity. In the second section, I examine New York State AIDS educational policy and highlight the problematic exclusionary identities within the text of the curricular guide and the plans for its implementation. I contend that this policy offers students very specific definitions of sex, identity, and community, and that the meanings offered are simplistic and discriminatory. In the third section, I analyze how controversies about curricular definitions of sex themselves complicate notions of identity, inadvertently opening new public spaces to articulations of sexual identity.
Issue Date:1998
Description:226 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9904537
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1998

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