• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Sexualities Project - Argentine team
 

Sexualities Project - Argentine team

on

  • 1,540 views

Sexualities Project - Argentine team

Sexualities Project - Argentine team

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,540
Views on SlideShare
1,532
Embed Views
8

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0

2 Embeds 8

http://www.sexualityproject.org 7
http://www.slideshare.net 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Sexualities Project - Argentine team Sexualities Project - Argentine team Presentation Transcript

    • 2nd International Meeting on Sexualities Puebla November 20-22, 2006 Progress made and implementation in Argentina Sexuality in the Academic Curricula in Universities in Asia, Africa and Latin America
    • Presentation
    • Objectives
      • Analyze to what extent -and how- issues related to sexuality and gender are taught and researched in Argentine universities
      • Identify factors that hinder and/or advance inclusion of these topics (faculty’s perspective)
      • Explore interest and reactions of students regarding these matters
    • With the purpose of:
      • Providing clues for mainstreaming gender and sexualities in the curriculum
      • Assessing pros and cons of different alternatives for the institutionalization of these topics
      • Coordinators:
        • Mónica Gogna (CEDES)
        • Mario Pecheny (Institute Gino Germani, University of Buenos Aires)
      • Assistant researchers:
        • Inés Ibarlucía (CEDES)
        • Daniel Jones (Institute Gino Germani, University of Buenos Aires)
      Team
    • Adaptations
      • How the team adapted the initial research questions to the local contexts?
        • Inclusion of Psychology as a discipline which studies sexuality
        • Emergence of Sexology as an interdisciplinary field for sexuality teaching (but outside universities)
        • Inclusion of students interest and perspectives
        • Development and evaluation of a Seminar on Sexuality & Rights (post-graduate level)
    • Methodology – Activities (included in Mid-term report)
    • 1.Mapping of institutions, courses and faculty
      • Electronic search and review of students’ orientation manuals
        • 38 public universities and 3 private universities websites were probed to assess available information regarding courses on sexualities and gender in their curricula.
        • Areas: Medicine, Law, Social Sciences, Humanities and Psychology.
        • Social Sciences included programs in Sociology, Political Science and Communication; Humanities included History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Education, Literature.
      • Electronic search and review of students’ orientation manuals
        • Undergraduate and graduate levels
        • Key words: género, cuerpo, fem*, sex*, mujer, masc* (gender, body, fem*, sex*, woman, masc*)
        • University websites were also explored
        • This search helped to identify courses and people who teach these topics in different provinces and institutions
      • Contact via e-mail with key informants
        • Informants provided information on other professors and/or courses on sexuality and/or gender
        • The list of informants grew through snowball recruiting
        • 100 key informants were contacted via email and 64 responded
      • Contact via e-mail with key informants
        • Data gathered on this phase include:
          • Courses
          • Human resources
          • Research centers and teams studying these issues
          • Local specificities
          • Syllabi
        • These data allowed us to set the list of informants to be interviewed individually in the following stage
    • 2. Individual interviews with key informants
      • We interviewed 23 professors that have taught undergraduate and/or graduate courses on issues connected to sexuality and/or gender
      • Interviewees have different disciplinary backgrounds, teach in different programs, at public and/or private universities
      • Most of them are prestigious researchers and participate in public debates on these topics
      • Interview guidelines included questions on:
        • Experiences in teaching sexuality (definitions of sexuality, gender and rights perspectives, bibliography)
        • Pedagogic strategies and students ’ interests and attitudes
        • Attitudes of other professors regarding these issues
        • Connections between teaching and research
        • Connections between academic work and community work
        • The field of sexuality in Argentina (factors that hinder or favor its institutionalization)
    • 3. Focus groups
      • 2 focus groups were carried out (4 and 5 participants each), each coordinated by one principal researcher and one project assistant
      • Participants were:
        • 7 professors (similar in profile as informants interviewed individually)
        • 1 specialist in higher education
        • 1 graduate studies Director (School of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires)
      • Triggers for debate referred to the following axes:
        • Diagnosis of the field: What are your opinions and experiences in teaching sexuality and gender at the university?
        • Pedagogy: Does it require specific pedagogical strategies?
        • Strategies for institutionalization: Should these issues be promoted at the university? At undergraduate or graduate level? Which are the main opportunities and which are the main obstacles you see?
    • 4. Survey among university students
      • We conducted a survey among students aimed at exploring:
        • Their interest in sexuality issues being included in higher education
        • Their opinions on selected reproductive health and sexuality issues
      • The survey was conducted in undergraduate and graduate programs at different national and private universities to students in courses both related and not related to sexuality/ gender
      • The sample design was intentional (exploratory)
      • N=349 students in 9 classes in 9 different programs (6 at undergraduate and 3 at graduate level)
      • The survey was conducted in 2 public universities (Buenos Aires and Salta) and in 2 private institutions (UCES and FLACSO)
      • Sample
      Course Program Type of university Level # Thesis Seminar Anthropology Public Undergraduate 15 Philosophy and Methods of Social Science Political Science Public Undergraduate 57 Group Techniques and Theory Psychology Public Undergraduate 85 Constitutional Basis of Private Law Law Public Undergraduate 32 Food Economy Nutrition Public Undergraduate 39 Social Science Nursing Public Undergraduate 63 Reproductive Health Gender Studies Private Graduate 27 Anthropology and Sociology of Health and Medicine Masters in Social Sciences and Health Private Graduate 12 Research Statistics Masters in Public Health Public Graduate 19 Total 349
      • A survey was also conducted among 51 students taking our seminar on Sexuality & Rights in a Master’s Program on Sexual and Reproductive Health (School of Public Health, National University of Córdoba)
      • Despite differences in number of questions and depth of information, questionnaire design allows comparison with above mentioned “sample”
    • Preliminary Findings (post Mid-term report)
    • Which issues, which perspectives?
      • Cross-cutting issues or perspectives
        • Cross-cutting disciplines
        • Interrogate disciplines from the margins
        • Allow working on sexuality, in the margins or in the “newness” of the field or discipline
        • Most of our key informants
      • Issues ordinarily included in syllabi and disciplines
        • They are established elements of syllabi or discipline
        • Sexual aspects can be prioritized or subordinated, depending on the programs, syllabi and teachers
    • Which issues, which perspectives?
      • Cross-cutting issues/topics
        • They represent a novelty within the academic field, and usually require new methodologies and perspectives
        • The “sexualizing” or “engendering” of study subjects seems new to established scholars and to the students
        • Pluri- and trans-discipline are not frequent in higher education, especially in traditional fields like Medicine or Law
    • Which issues, which perspectives? Cross-cutting issues “ The body”
      • Genealogy of the body
      • Historical consideration of the body and “the natural”
      • Different body models
      • Theories
      “ Subjects, subjectivity, identity” (Psychology, History)
      • Theories
      • Feminine and Masculine Subjectivities
      • Psycho-sexuality
      • Historization and institutionalization of subjectivities
      “ Construction of sex/gender” (all disciplines)
      • Feminist and queer theories
      • Sexual difference
        • Knowledge and epistemology
        • Language
      • Sexual diversities
        • Masculine and feminine
        • Trans-sexuality: emerging
        • Intersex: emerging
      “ Normality”
      • To be questioned
      “ Erotic ism ”
      • In the past – Absent today?
      • Ordinary issues
        • Sexual or sexual- related aspects are included within broader topics
        • Or they are defined as sexual, in its restricted meaning:
            • for example, sexual dysfunctions, sexual abuse
      Which issues, which perspectives?
    • Which issues, which perspectives? Ordinary issues Broader issues that include sexual topics (prioritized, subordinated, almost absent) “ Study of Legal Texts” (Law)
      • Verdicts that involve sexual aspects, directly or indirectly (abortion, legal recognition of a NGO, modification of legal identity, genital surgery, etc.
      • International treaties
      “ Violence” (Law)
      • Domestic violence
      • Sexual abuse
      • Harassment
      “ Family” (Law) Specific sexual-related issues “ Sexual dysfunctions” (Medicine, Sexology)
      • Problems between partners
      • Sexual issues:
        • Dysfunctions, etc.
        • Techniques
    • Bibliography
      • Classics of 20th Century (e.g. Foucault , Derrida) and contemporary (e.g. Butler, Weeks)
      • Increasing use of publications from Spain and Latin America. No mention of authors from “the South” except for Latin Americans
      • The most mentioned authors: Foucault, Butler, Rubin
      • Use of non-academic publications: from activism, NGOs
      • Gap between academic authors and best-sellers authors (sexology)
    • Definitions of “sexuality”
      • Most key informants do not define “sexuality”
      • They mention other definitions (e.g. Gender)
      • Some consider there is no definition within his/her field yet
      • Definitions, when given, are considered “historical”
    • Definitions of “sexuality”
      • Despite lack of definition, common features or concerns emerged:
        • Related to individuals and subjectivity
        • A crucial dimension of everyday life, individually and collectively
        • A social construction, which determines and is determined by social and cultural traditions, power relations, etc.
        • Sexual intercourse has adopted different modalities
        • Sexual practices are historical and contingent
        • Related to identity / identities
        • Heterosexuality and reproduction as normative and normalizing models
        • Binarism and exclusion of diversity
        • Commodification of sexuality, sexuality and capitalism
        • Gender perspective and political hegemony processes
    • Gender perspective
      • Theoretical and epistemological debate on the relations and definitions of sex, gender and sexuality are still under development.
      • However, two groups with different levels of “sophistication” were identified:
        • A critical perspective (social sciences and humanities)
        • A naive, non- critical perspective (law, medicine and sexology): schematically, “gender = related to women”
    • Gender perspective
      • Critical perspective
        • Problematizes the conceptual and empirical relations between gender(s) and sexuality(ies)
        • Gender is basically a “perspective” (political, epistemological, analytical, critical) and sexuality can be taught and researched from this perspective
        • Some consider sex as biologically-embodied, and gender as social-cultural; others talk of a sex-gender system (like Judith Butler)
    • Gender perspective
      • Non-critical perspective
        • They refer more to topics or study contents than to an analytical perspective
        • They use the term gender as a synonym of sex; or refer to aspects related to women
        • Or simply pay “lip service” to gender (politically correct)
        • The majority in this group are professors of law, medicine and sexology
      • Human rights have become the “universal language” of political claims in Argentina
      • Consequently, a rights perspective is present in any critical course on sexualities and gender
      • Some are more formal and legal: they refer to CEDAW, etc.
      • Some refer to reproductive and sexual rights as a “package”
      • Some stress the links between rights and personal/ political practices and subjectivity
      • Some try to link teaching and practices outside universities
      • Finally, some are critical vis-à-vis the liberal limitations of the language of rights and are more radical (queer, political feminism)
      Rights
    • Pedagogic strategies
      • Main objectives of teaching gender and sexuality: denaturalize, fight prejudices, open discussions, contribute to thinking
      • Pedagogical strategies: analysis of documents, literary sources and newspaper ads, biographical writing, “provocation”, videos, study cases, etc.
    • Pedagogic strategies
      • Key informants have not reported particular difficulties in teaching these issues
      • They seek an equilibrium between reflection o n “personal matters” and the transmission of conceptual knowledge – the issues mobilize students’ feelings
    • Students’ interests
      • Most think that there is no “great demand”, because sexuality and gender are not view e d as study matters
      • But when the offer exists, reception tends to be excellent
      • Motivations to attend these courses: personal interests (related to gendered experiences), political activism and professional concerns (graduate)
    • Students’ reactions
      • They depend on several factors: disciplinary background and training, social context, character of the course (compulsory, optional) etc.
      • Professor teaching sexuality issues in the 80’s reports anxiety and jokes (different from the experience of sexologist teaching similar issues in our 2006 Seminar at the University of Córdoba)
    • Students’ survey
      • Sample profile
        • 84% female
        • 16% male
        • 69% 18-25 years old
        • 17% 26-35
        • 4% 36-45
        • 10% 46+
        • 1% n/d
        • 83% undergraduate students
        • 17% graduate students
    • Students’ interest in sexualities studies
      • Almost 80% out of the total number of students in the survey believe that sexualities issues should be included in their study program
      • The same proportion would be interested in taking a course on the issue if it were offered
      • Psychology and graduate students were the most interested, both in including the issue in the curricula as well as in taking a course related to it
    • Students’ knowledge about sexualities studies
      • Gender studies are best known among university students (57% had heard about them)
      • Feminist studies are known by 38% and “gay-lesbian” studies by 23% out of all students
      • “ Queer” studies are almost unknown among university students. Less than 10% had heard about them
    • Students’ opinions about sexual and reproductive matters
      • 93% of the students agree that sexual education should be taught from elementary school onwards
      • 90% agree with providing adolescents under 14 with contraceptive methods and information
      • Access to emergency contraception is not fully accepted yet (71% agreed, 16% did not and 13% did not answer)
      • Civil marriage between same sex people causes more rejection (22% did not agree) and doubts (15% did not respond) among students
      • Biomedical programs students are the most “conservative”: 58% did not agree with same sex civil marriage; 37% did not agree with providing emergency contraception
    • Students’ opinions about sexual and reproductive matters No data Don’t know/ don’t answer Do not agree Agree
    • Students’ feedback on Sexuality and Rights Seminar (Córdoba University)
      • Personal impact of the course:
      •  
      • Increased critical perspective
      • Increased empathy
      • Improved connection with self and others
      • Helped revisit prejudices and concepts
      • Clarified issues and opened up new questions
      • Opened up one’s mind (e.g. in relation to sexual diversity)
      • Enabled to rethink one’s own sexual practices
    • Students’ reactions
      • Professional impact:
      • Improved ability to: listen, understand, accept, respect “others” (basically, female patients)
      • Provided new knowledge, techniques and tools
      • Improved self-confidence
      • Renewed interest in interdisciplinary work
    • Colleagues’ opinions: the legitimacy issue
      • For some, teaching these topics has had a personal cost in terms of peer recognition and prestige
      • Others consider themselves accepted by their colleagues: academic credentials compensate the lack of prestige of their area of specialization
    • Colleagues’ opinions: the legitimacy issue
      • Receptivity has improved (compared to 10-15 years ago)
      • Recognition due to political correction rather than to personal conviction or to “satisfy donors”
      • In every discipline, it is possible to identify resistance to the incorporation of gender and sexuality
    • Colleagues’ opinions: the legitimacy issue
      • Different attitudes exist according to gender and generation:
        • Male colleagues (especially, heterosexual) more reluctant to accept these new topics
        • Women are more interested, but still depends on their discipline, ideology and sensibility
        • Young scholars are more receptive, but less conscious about the difficulties they may face. Homophobia (what if the think I´m gay?)
    • One field or several fields?
      • In Argentina, is “teaching sexuality and gender” one field? Or are there different disciplinary fields, within which some sexuality issues are taught?
      • Perspectives, issues and teaching/research methodologies are too heterogeneous, so it is not possible to talk about a unified field
      • We identified three main disciplinary fields that include sexuality and gender topics:
        • Social Sciences and Humanities
        • Psychology
        • Sexology
      • Social sciences and humanities: concerns about considering gender as a main explicative dimension, feminism as epistemological approach and women as study population
      • Psychology: tensions between teaching sexuality and /or gender – psychoanalysis is reluctant to incorporate a gender approach
      • Sexology: job market for sexual education teachers
      Main tensions and concerns
    • Dialogue between disciplines
      • Epistemological obstacles
        • Gender perspective questions the very idea of separate disciplines
        • Radical differences between paradigms (biomedical & socio-anthropological)
        • Biomedicine’s “tenacious assumptions“ (Gordon): a view of culture as adaptation and an analytic primacy of the rational, value-maximizing individual (Byron Good)
    • View of sexuality in Biomedicine
      • Generally integrated into curriculum largely though notions of abuse and risk
      • Homosexualities/sexual orientation are rarely raised
      • Regards “the social” as a factor that can be added on to individual practices, basically associated with “deviance” or “transgression”’
      • Considers males the norm and women as “the other”
      • Masks gender inequality and women’s subordination
    • Dialogue between disciplines
      • Institutional obstacles
        • The institutional organization in Schools and Degrees (more structured in Argentina) generates rigid and unconnected disciplines
        • Trespassing or breaking disciplinary boundaries is not rewarded in terms of academic career
        • Disciplinary struggles usually mask power competition in academic units
        • Some topics or approaches are “appropriated” by some colleagues (who hold a “monopoly” on them)
    • Dialogue between disciplines
      • Favorable factors
        • Research and current trends of shorter and more flexible cycles of high education allow the coexistence of disciplinary and interdisciplinary training
        • Some authors (Foucault, for instance) have become widely acknowledged (common understandings)
        • Some notions cut across different disciplines (e.g., “social representations”, “subjectivities”)
        • Dissertations and graduate education are increasingly inter-disciplinary
    • Obstacles to the inclusion of sexualities and gender in the academic curricula
      • Three kind of obstacles were mentioned by key informants:
        • Institutional
        • Ideological
        • Related to the field of sexualities studies
      • These obstacles interact as a “set of difficulties” that hinder the incorporation of sexualities and gender studies into universities curricula
      • Institutional obstacles
        • Universities are institutions resistant to changes (not exclusively those related to sexual-related issues)
        • Once established, study programs are difficult to reform
        • Current trends tend to shorten undergrad programs
        • Low salaries and budgets, precarious infrastructure, etc. do not encourage professors to update their knowledge
        • Obstacles carry more weight in oldest universities, in traditional disciplines and in undergraduate programs (compared to graduate)
      • Ideological obstacles
        • Vision that underestimates sexuality studies in terms of the existence of major (“hard”) vs. minor (“soft”) matters (where gender & sexuality are included)
        • Power relations in the field of intimacy (and sexuality) are invisible to faculty, even for those who describe themselves as “liberals” or “leftists”
        • Political and religious interests have an influence on curricular reforms ( e g. Catholic Church's interests are very influential in Schools of Medicine)
      • Obstacles related to the field
        • The fact that there is no such thing as a sexualities study field (or that it is emerging) is considered an obstacle to the inclusion of the topic in the curricula
        • Sexualities studies are still located on the margins. They are defined as “alternative” and still lack legitimacy
      • Build legitimacy around the sexualities studies field at university level.
        • Consolidating research programs, obtaining institutional and financial support, producing and disseminating research findings, participating in scientific conferences, etc.
        • “ Creating demand” and stimulating interest among students, since they generally don't know (or know little) about these studies
        • Making connections with foreign institutions (especially at graduate level)
      Strategies that would favor the inclusion of sexualities and gender in the academic curricula
      • Strategy centered on institutional channels
        • Aims to the formal inclusion of specific syllabi on sexualities and gender in study programs
        • It is the “safest” way of including them (protection against potential political pressures, changes at decision-making levels, etc).
      • Cross-cutting strategy
        • Promoting the inclusion of sexualities and gender issues as a cross-curricular topic in already existing courses
        • Requires making professors aware of the importance and relevance of these issues (“Evangelize”)
        • Process of “invading” curricula seems more effective than imposing institutionalization (“Positions war”)
      • Undergraduate or graduate level?
        • There is concern about the absence of sexualities and gender issues in the undergraduate curricula. Gender perspective and sexualities studies should be included as a cross-curricular issue in the basic vocational training
        • However, it would be easier to include them at graduate level since it is more flexible and dynamic
    • Concluding Remarks
      • Need of integrating research, teaching, activism and public policy
      • Need of “informing” public debate on “hot issues” (e.g. abortion, civil union of same sex people)
      • Need of conveying undergraduate students (particularly in Medicine and Law) a holistic perspective + “gender and sexualities” + awareness of equity issues
      Concluding remarks
      • Take advantage of the links built with faculty and their explicit interest in “coming together” to increase legitimacy and expand the field
      • Need of further cooperation South-South (e.g. learn from others’ experiences with teaching gender, sexualities and rights to health professionals)
      Concluding remarks
      • Need of further research on students
      • Need of further research on universities administrations and governing bodies
      • Need to explore what is occurring “beneath” overt course outlines (e.g. mass media, women’s magazines, Internet, etc.)
      • Assess educational interventions (Higher Ed; secondary school, community-based, etc.)
      Concluding remarks (Research gaps)
    • Thanks!