New Zealand therapist insights into the intersecting fields of sexualities and childhood
Flanagan, P. G. (2020). New Zealand therapist insights into the intersecting fields of sexualities and childhood. New Zealand Journal of Counselling, 40(2), 51–68.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14166
Little research has been published about therapists’ insights into the intersecting fields of sexualities and childhood. In this paper, I focus on therapists’ responses from my recently completed doctoral research project in Aotearoa New Zealand. In this study, I analysed “talk” by adults (parents, teachers, and therapists), responding to the question: What language is used to describe childhood sexuality by adults in Aotearoa New Zealand? Through group and individual interviews, participants were invited to respond to a range of vignettes about children’s actions that some people regard as sexual. The analysis shows that therapists, like parents and teachers, drew on heteronormative ideas of child development to describe and shape children’s expressions of sexuality. Questions about gender and sexual pleasure in childhood are discussed and the article concludes with an invitation to counsellors to examine their own positioning in their talk about the child and sexuality.
New Zealand Association of Counsellors
© 2020 New Zealand Association of Counsellors. Used with permission.
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