Departmental Bulletin Paper The Making of the Mainstream Discourse of Sex Education in Japan : The Role of a Japanese Periodical Sex Education Today (1972-1983)

Hirose, Hiroko

This paper elucidates the making and the characteristics of mainstream discourse of sex education in Japan, by examining a commercial periodical Gendai seikyouiku kenkyuu (Sex Education Today) published by Nihon Seikyouiku Kyoukai (the Japanese Association for Sex Education, JASE) from 1972 to 1983. The dominant discourse of sex education was transferred from that of 'Purity Education' policy, which was introduced by the government after the end of the Second World War, onto the sexology-oriented sex education lead by JASE. Sex Education Today played a crucial role in this transfer, by transmitting sex education knowledge from both inside and outside of the country energetically. This magazine also played an important role in the building of the structured school sex education curriculum, which acted as an official curriculum until the government guideline was published in 1999. In spite of this remarkable influence of this magazine, it has only rarely been examined by scholars. Based on its findings, this paper further suggests that, it was not only 'extreme' sex education but also the mainstream sex education generally, which was targeted in the campaign of criticism raised in the 2000s.

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