The limits of evidence : queerness in progressive visions of sexuality education

"Evidence” has replaced “abstinence” as the idea with foundational cultural authority in sexuality education debates, policy, and practice. In a move emblematic of this shift, leading sexual health organizations recently proposed the Future of Sex Education (FoSE), the first national standards for evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education. I conduct a queer analysis of FoSE, examining how it attempts to broaden the scope of traditional evidence-based sexuality education policies and how sociological feminist analyses and queer theory can advance understandings of sexuality education’s capacity to effect social change. Despite its inclusion of LGBTQ youth, FoSE’s reliance on scientific discourse forecloses possibilities for students to experience and learn about queemess and sexual subjectivity in sexuality education classrooms. I explore how FoSE’s limitations are entangled with the possibilities it imagines for students’ sexual subjectivities.