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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Consenting or consuming? What kind of sexuality is 50 Shades of Grey selling to young women?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 12 March 2015

Emilie Lawrence and Jessica Ringrose
On 8th March we celebrated International Women’s Day – a day to reflect on just how far we have come in achieving equality. This presents a good opportunity to discuss how the intricacies of sexual and emotional relationships are navigated in two of the biggest blockbuster films and novels in recent times – 50 Shades of Grey and Twilight. These representations raise questions over how we engage in a meaningful dialogue with young people about sexuality in a world where stories like these reign supreme
From toilet rolls to sex toys, 50 Shades of Grey spin-offs show that the support for the trilogy has been huge and the backlash even bigger. The book has been criticised for romanticising domestic violence, mental health issues, and for its childish repertoire of words used to describe body parts, experiences and sex. But the pressing question about the enormous success of the book trilogy and now the first instalment of the movie is why now?
Why during a period of proclaimed postfeminist equality for women and girls in education, work, and the public sphere do (more…)

EU-funded tools for the job: helping teachers and health workers tackle gender-related violence

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 3 February 2015

Miriam David
Gender violence has been a key theme of the European Union’s Daphne programme. I have been involved with a most exciting and innovative Daphne-funded research project to develop free online training tools, which we hope will help teachers, youth workers and health professionals across Europe to tackle gender-related violence in children and young people’s lives.
Our particular approach in the GAP WORK project draws on earlier research I conducted with Dr Pam Alldred of Brunel University (where the project is based). It found that teachers, health and youth workers do not feel adequately trained to work with children and young people around sex, sexuality and relationships and showed how sex education and dealing with violence remains marginalised in school curricula. Such (more…)