Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning Call for Papers

Sex, Sexuality and Education in South Africa

Sex Education

Sex Education journal is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue of the journal on the topic of Sex, Sexuality and Education in South Africa.

Guest editors

Deevia Bhana, Faculty of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Mary Crewe, Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In South Africa, young people’s sexuality remains highly problematised in relation to gender/sexual violence, homophobia, unwanted teenage pregnancy, sugar daddies, HIV and the unfair burden facing young women and girls in schools and educational institutions. Poverty, race, class, disability, culture and age inequalities are viewed as combining to aggravate the problem especially in low-income contexts.

Despite this, education remains central to challenging unequal gender norms, heterosexism, cultural ideologies based on male entitlement, and problematic constructions of masculinity and femininity based on unequal power relations.

All too often in South Africa, sexuality is often portrayed in terms of danger and risk, with sexuality education being narrowly understood as helping to address the social and public health crisis in the country. Whilst it is important recognise the challenges that exist, two major problems concerning sex and sexuality education have emerged.

The first relates to the exclusive framing of sex within the domain of suffering and risk, with girls - especially in working class contexts - being largely portrayed as the victims of male sexuality.

A second difficulty relates to the narrow conceptualisation of sexuality education, with little consideration being given to sexuality that encompasses pleasure, transgender and queer experience, the use of sexually explicit materials, curiosity, excitement, romantic love and passion, while also regulated by gender, culture and wider social forces.

In response to this confusing situation, this special issue of the journal Sex Education invites papers that considers a range of experiences around sex and sexuality education in South Africa. Papers may focus on the experiences of boys, girls, young people, trans and queer sexualities, policies, curricula, teachers, higher education and teacher education programmes as they exist in the country.

Submission Instructions

The deadline for submission is June 30, 2018. Manuscripts should follow Sex Education journal’s formatting guidelines, which are available at:​ 

While you may wish to discuss a paper informally with one of the special issue editors in advance, please submit your paper through our online submission and review site: 

Please make sure your paper is clearly marked for consideration for inclusion in the Sex, Sexuality and Education in South Africa special issue. All papers submitted will undergo the standard peer review process.

Enquiries can be emailed to Deevia Bhana at or Mary Crewe at