Sexing the Teacher: School Sex Scandals and Queer Pedagogies

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UBC Press, Nov 1, 2011 - Social Science - 240 pages
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Sexing the Teacher is a provocative study of public and professional responses to female teacher sex scandals in Canada, the United States and Britain. Sheila Cavanagh examines the moral and professional panic over sexual transgressions in the educational milieu by analyzing several sensationalized legal cases, including Mary Kay Letourneau, Amy Gehring, and Heather Ingram.

Deploying queer theory, psychoanalysis, postcolonial theory, and feminist film theory, Cavanagh analyses deep-seated anxieties about white female teacher sexualities and offers a critique of the damage that gets done in the name of child protectionism. Arguing that foundational assumptions about race, gender, class, sexuality, and family are all central to the panic, Cavanagh questions the conventional wisdom and politics governing our conceptualization of sex scandals in education. She also demonstrates that public upset over female teacher sexual transgressions, ostensibly about child welfare, is also about the regulation of gender, heteronormative, and white reproductive futures: a hidden curriculum in Western educational systems.

Timely, original, and controversial, Sexing the Teacher will appeal to scholars and students in education, sociology, gender, sexuality, and cultural studies, as well as to general readers interested in the sensationalism over school sex scandals that has dominated recent headlines.


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Queer Pedagogy and Sex Scandals in Education
Mary Kay Letourneau and Her Fall from Grace in White America
Annie Markson and the Queer Pedagogy of the Femme Fatale
Voyeuristic Pleasure in the Amy Gehring Sex Panic
Eros Aggression and Maternal Pedagogies in the Heather Ingram Case
The Hybrid Proliferation of Queers in the Jean Robertson Scandal
Troubling Methodological Memoirs and Queer Pedagogies of Pederasty

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About the author (2011)

Sheila L. Cavanagh is an associate professor of sociology at York University.

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