Sexualising Citizenship? A Critical Consideration of Contemporary Youth Policy in the UK

A. Moore, P. Prescott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper seeks to destablise the categorisation of ‘childhood’, ‘youth’ and ‘adulthood’ as discrete life stages and challenges the movement or “transition” between these fictional categories as necessarily linear and progressive. What are currently viewed as transitions to adulthood and citizenship are inescapably heteronormative: the movement to a defined category is not simply about becoming an adult but about becoming a man or a woman and conforming to compulsory heterosexuality. Human ‘development’ in any form is not linear, staged or ‘complete’, nor are humans in reality confined and defined by the very notion of transition. If age, ‘developing’ competence and the movement from one socially constructed stage to the next are the measurements by which young people are judged and responded to then their right to a chosen and fully represented sexual citizenship cannot be fully respected. Drawing specifically on Bourdieuan theory this paper is part of the authors’ ‘speculative scoping’ for a research project exploring young lesbian and gay men’s transition to (sexualised) citizenship to identify whether they see that age, competence and transition are constructs that create barriers to the adulthoods and sexualities they may actually have invented
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNegotiating Childhoods
EditorsL. Hopkins, W.C. Turgeon, M. MacLeod
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherID Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)978-1848880467
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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