gender, sexuality and childhood: children scenes against innocence

raquel gonçalves salgado, leonardo lemos de souza


The sacred and secular aura of innocence around childhood is still nowadays wellpreserved, having a strong impact on social discourses of protection; care and education.Conjugated to this aura is the child developmental discourse; very crucial to psychologyand education; which strives to thoroughly describe and characterise childhood as a “lifestage”; in order to claim “truths” about subjects who live it and how they “must” live it.In this way; our proposal with this work is to question the discursive production of“innocent child”; in psychology and education fields; through a feminist perspective andthe childhood studies. Therefore; we assume as principal question figures gender and sexuality as possibilities to construct different views on childhood by looking over theexperiences; the knowledge and senses that children are sharing in their playing cultures.The scenes we bring up as supports to our reflections come from researches with childrenin pre-school municipal public institutions; in Rondonópolis; Mato Grosso; Brazil;conducted in the scope of Childhood; Youth and Contemporary Culture Research Group(GEIJC). The main questions we raise with gender and sexuality as markers; when wetake them to the scholar context; are: (1) the children’s place in their right of expressingtheir genders and sexualities in this context; (2) the possibility of these expressions to berecognized and have despatologised and viable existences in learning contexts; as well astheir detachment from moral and excluding values; and (3) the possibility of recognition;by the school and cognitive politics produced in this context; of different trajectories ofgender and sexual expressions in children. In summary; our inquiries are directed toquestion the developmental idea as a progress to a “must be” oriented by linearity anduniversality of gender and sexual expressions; which debouch intensely in pedagogicaldiscourses in search of a phallocentric; masculinist; heteronormative; binary andbourgeois identity.


childhoods; genders; sexualities; feminisms; education



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e-issn 1984-5987 | p-issn 2525-5061