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What are Little Boys Made Of, Made of? Victorian Art and the Formation of Gender

Addison, N; (2002) What are Little Boys Made Of, Made of? Victorian Art and the Formation of Gender. Sex Education , 2 (2) pp. 171-182. Green open access

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Abstract

Given that educators increasingly have to integrate social and moral education within the general curriculum, this paper considers ways in which the visual arts may or may not be a useful resource for challenging the stereotypical preconceptions about gender and sexual identity held by many people in a post-industrial, intercultural society. Focusing on Tate Britain?s inaugural exhibition for the opening of its new galleries, ?Exposed: the Victorian Nude?, the paper examines a selection of artefacts that are assumed to represent the sexual mores of Britain at a pivotal time in the construction of its national identity. With reference to the social history of art and feminist theoretical ?interventions?, the exhibits are analysed as possible evidence of the Victorians? ?skills, beliefs and values about sexual relationships, identity and intimacy? the lifelong study of which provides the Sex Education Forum (1997:1) with a definition of sex education. Subsequently two questions are posed: firstly, what does the exhibition?s selection and hang say about contemporary beliefs? Secondly, can historical artworks be constructively used with young people (post-16) as a catalyst for discussion of sex, gender and sexuality?

Type: Article
Title: What are Little Boys Made Of, Made of? Victorian Art and the Formation of Gender
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: Cultural influences on education, Museum/Gallery, Gender, Cross-curricular, Art & design, Post-compulsory educational institution (not HE)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1506586
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