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Bros Talking Gender and Power in the Sex Ed Class

Thu, April 16, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Sheraton, Floor: Fourth Level, Chicago VI&VII


This teacher participant-observer qualitative research paper examines how the discourse of five boys and a male teacher engaged in a curriculum activity in a G8 comprehensive sexuality education classroom constructed understandings of gender and how this discourse got enacted. The setting is a progressive church school located in a northeastern city of 180,000. The analysis uses an audio-recording contextualized with field notes selected from a large dataset. Findings show that the activity became co-opted into a mockery. Dynamics of power emerged. Students’ talk shaped their own and each other’s identity, and promoted the patriarchal status-quo. This paper is positioned within current educational research studying gendered speech and how it intersects with processes of teaching and learning.