Examining Relationships and Sex Education through a child rights lens: an intersectional approach


  • Francesca Zanatta Cass School of Education and Communities, University of East London, UK.




Inspired by Audrey Osler’s call for the development of novel approaches to intersectionality in human rights education praxis, this article presents an undergraduate module on Children’s Rights, examining processes of teaching and learning about rights through the topic of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). The module, designed for future educators, intersects elements of children’s rights education with the theoretical positions of queer studies and critical pedagogy. Drawing on data from two focus groups, consisting of students following the programme, the author analyses students’ views and attitudes to RSE, using Foucault’s overarching concept of problematisation and the concept of sites of struggle. Data analysis reveals tensions and potential clashes between the students’ professional selves, their personal values, and elements of the theoretical framework adopted in the course. These tensions are nevertheless constructive, highlighting the potential of children’s rights education to contribute to transformative human development.


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Author Biography

Francesca Zanatta, Cass School of Education and Communities, University of East London, UK.

Senior Lecturer


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How to Cite

Zanatta, F. (2021). Examining Relationships and Sex Education through a child rights lens: an intersectional approach. Human Rights Education Review, 4(1), 49–69. https://doi.org/10.7577/hrer.3991

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