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What are Little Boys Made Of, Made of? Victorian Art and the Formation of Gender

Addison, Nicholas (2002) What are Little Boys Made Of, Made of? Victorian Art and the Formation of Gender. Sex Education, 2 (2). pp. 171-182. ISSN 1468-1811. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Given that educators increasingly have to integrate social and moral education within the general curriculum, this paper considers ways in which the visual arts may or may not be a useful resource for challenging the stereotypical preconceptions about gender and sexual identity held by many people in a post-industrial, intercultural society. Focusing on Tate Britain’s inaugural exhibition for the opening of its new galleries, ‘Exposed: the Victorian Nude’, the paper examines a selection of artefacts that are assumed to represent the sexual mores of Britain at a pivotal time in the construction of its national identity. With reference to the social history of art and feminist theoretical ‘interventions’, the exhibits are analysed as possible evidence of the Victorians’ ‘skills, beliefs and values about sexual relationships, identity and intimacy’ the lifelong study of which provides the Sex Education Forum (1997:1) with a definition of sex education. Subsequently two questions are posed: firstly, what does the exhibition’s selection and hang say about contemporary beliefs? Secondly, can historical artworks be constructively used with young people (post-16) as a catalyst for discussion of sex, gender and sexuality?

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: Cultural influences on education, Museum/Gallery, Gender, Cross-curricular, Art & design, Post-compulsory educational institution (not HE)
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 14 May 2010 13:56
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 07:47
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