Why? And how? Translating queer theologies of sex education

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This paper engages with two overarching questions: why is engaging with queer theologies potentially valuable for sex education, and how can we carry out this kind of work without rendering sex education an expression of queer theological commitment? In responding to the first of these questions, I argue that working with queer theologies can offer sex education researchers another way of thinking about, and with, theology–one that resists positioning theology as inevitably heteronormative through its attention to the body, embraces the multiple possibilities of queer subjecthood, and attends to the importance of context in understanding how heteronormativity is both reproduced and resisted. Following this, I turn to the second question animating this paper, suggesting that if we are to avoid sex education sliding into an inevitable expression of queer theological commitment, what is needed is a methodology for the translation for sex education research, in which queer theologies can ‘meet’ with sex education without at the same time ‘merging’ with it. I demonstrate how this might be enacted through the symbol of the ‘Abrahamic threesome’, a queer symbolic device of my own design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
Number of pages15
JournalSex Education Sexuality Society and Learning
Issue number1
Early online date29 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2020


  • Abrahamic threesome
  • Embodiment
  • queer subjecthood
  • queer theology
  • translation


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