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‘Big and Tough’ : Boys learning about sexuality and manhood

Forrest, S.

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This paper explores adolescent boys" reactions to, and experiences of, school-based sex education. Using data and findings from a range of studies, it describes dominant patterns of response, and posits reasons for boys" frequent rejection and disruption of lessons. The relationship between bodily size and social capital and hierarchies of masculine sexual power and status is addressed. Evidence is presented which demonstrates that bravado and disruption are reactions to sex education which fails to address boys" needs. We need to create learning environments in which they can at least temporarily put to one side the need to behave in rigid sex-stereotypical ways.


Forrest, S. (2000). ‘Big and Tough’ : Boys learning about sexuality and manhood. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 15(3), 247-261.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 1, 2000
Deposit Date Jun 25, 2009
Publicly Available Date Feb 17, 2010
Journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy
Print ISSN 1468-1994
Electronic ISSN 1468-1749
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 247-261


Published Journal Article (128 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an electronic version of an article published in 'Sexual and Relationship Therapy'(c)2000 Copyright Taylor & Francis; 'Sexual and Relationship Therapy' is available online at:

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