I Want to Hold Your Hand: Abstinence Curricula, Bioethics, and the Silencing of Desire [Book Review]

Journal of Medical Humanities 34 (2):101-108 (2013)

Abstract

The abstinence approach to sex education remains influential despite its demonstrated ineffectiveness. One bill forbids the “promotion” of “gateway sexual activity,” while requiring outright condemnation of “non-abstinence,” defined so loosely as to plausibly include handholding. Bioethics seldom (if ever) contributes to sex-ed debates, yet exploring the pivotal role of medical discourse reveals the need for bioethical intervention. Sex-ed debates revolve around a theory of human flourishing based on heteronormative temporality, a developmental teleology ensuring the transmission of various supposed social goods through heterosexual marriage (Halberstam, 2005). Heteronormative temporality also constitutes a moralized discourse in which the values of health and presumed certainties of medicine serve to justify conservative religious dictates that otherwise would appear controversial as the basis for public policy. Overall, this analysis explores how moralized medical discourses compound existing injustices, while suggesting bioethics’ potential contributions to moral and political analysis of sex-ed policies

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,743

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-11-24

Downloads
23 (#498,060)

6 months
1 (#386,989)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

Setting the Record Straight.[author unknown] - 1988 - The Owl of Minerva 19 (2):231-231.

Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Black Box Arguments.Sally Jackson - 2008 - Argumentation 22 (3):437-446.
Observing Bioethics.Renée C. Fox - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Ethics of Social Consequences – Methodology of Bioethics Education.Vasil Gluchman - 2012 - Ethics and Bioethics (in Central Europe) 2 (1-2):16-27.
Religion and Bioethics: Can We Talk? [REVIEW]William E. Stempsey - 2011 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (4):339-350.