Accompanied by suspicion: An ethnographic account of negotiating gender tensions and positioning in counselling practice and researching child sexuality
Flanagan, P. G. (2015). Accompanied by suspicion: An ethnographic account of negotiating gender tensions and positioning in counselling practice and researching child sexuality. In R. E. Rinehart, emerald e., & R. Matamua (Eds.), Ethnographies in Pan-Pacific research: Tensions and positionings (Vol. 22, pp. 163–175). New York: Routledge.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12981
This chapter presents my experience of journeying into research on the contentious area of sexuality in childhood. Reflecting on experiences from professional, personal and academic contexts, I expose occasions of discomfort, unease and public questioning of my integrity – because I am male, and because of the sensitive subject area of this research: children and sexuality. Revealing a number of discursive contexts (not only am I male, but my counselling practice has largely been with children and in the area of child sexual abuse and child sexual activity) the question is boldly presented – how do I balance gender tensions and positionings? I recognise that gender tensions are an appropriate challenge within a research and public media gaze that calls for accountability for the extent and dominance of child and sexual abuse perpetrated by males. Responding to and within constraints of others’ perceptions and maligning remarks, I acknowledge that questions of gender and safety are appropriate and hold value for me, about how I step into researcher positioning taken up in this study. A sense of advocacy and social justice underpins my commitment to this research making suspicion an uncomfortable but valuable participant to negotiate in this process.
This is the author's accepted version. © 2015 Routledge.
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