'Slippery stuff': handling sexually explicit materials in the HE classroom

Sarah Oerton, Jane Nolan

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    In this paper we examine key issues arising from the inclusion of sexually explicit materials on two final-year undergraduate modules in criminology and sociology. Contextualised through critical self-reflection, we outline and interrogate the strategies employed for sensitively handling the dissemination and discussion of sexually explicit materials. In so doing, we discuss the ethical and legal implications of employing such materials, and highlight some of the problems and paradoxes students face in opening up for critical scrutiny their own opinions, beliefs and embodied experiences of erotic and/or pornographic materials. Finally, we reflect on the extent to which strategic exposure to such materials allows students to develop political and academic critiques that sharpen their understanding of the contested terrain upon which erotica and/or pornography is situated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-26
    Number of pages26
    JournalELiSS Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences
    Issue number3
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 May 2010


    • erotica and/or pornography
    • sex and sexuality
    • bodies
    • ethics
    • Higher Education
    • teaching


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