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Sext education: pedagogies of sex, gender and shame in the schoolyards of Tagged and Exposed

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In this paper, we explore how what we term ‘sext education’ pedagogies intersect with young people's understandings of, and talk about, sexting through a feminist analysis of two cyber-safety campaign films: Tagged from Australia and Exposed from the UK. The films tell alarming stories about the ways in which teenage girls' digital interactions and representations can be misused by their peers. We explore the normative construction of schools as sites for policing sex and gender norms in the films. We then investigate how young people take up, manage and sometimes question these gendered logics in their own digitally networked peer groups through an analysis of data from several school-based qualitative research projects on young people's digital sexual cultures and their responses to sexting in cyber-safety films in London, UK and Victoria, Australia. We critique the naturalisation of digital realms as extensions of the schoolyard in the films and for young people themselves, and suggest that such assumptions need questioning in future forms of sext education.
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