Presentation Title

Teaching ‘Danish’ sexuality: Investigating teaching materials targeting asylum seekers

Presenter Title/Affiliation

University of Gothenburg

Start Date

23-5-2021 10:00 AM

Event Name

Panel discussion

Panel Number

20

Panel Chair Name

Kristine Køhler Mortensen

Zoom URL to Join

https://ciis.zoom.us/j/97769536783

Zoom Meeting ID

977 6953 6783

Abstract

In times of the so-called ‘European migration crisis’ access to the ‘right’ knowledge about sexuality has become a crucial component in governing national borders. In European media discourse the migrant man is repeatedly presented as a potential assailant who violates proper sexual conduct. This stereotypical image was intensified when German police on New Year’s Eve 2015 received numerous reports on sexual assaults against women perpetrated by what the media described as men of foreign background. The incident generated a flurry of reactions from European politicians. In Denmark, the debate focused on the need to educate asylum seekers in sober (legal) romantic and sexual behavior. As a result, compulsory education in “Danish sexual morals” was decided with a broad politically majority and introduced as part of the general Danish culture course by the summer of 2016. Through a critical multimodal discourse analysis this paper analyzes a range of teaching materials developed by different practitioners for teaching asylum seekers and young refugees about sexuality. The analysis demonstrates how some materials deploy linguistic and semiotic signs in paradoxical ways to draw clear boundaries between insider and outsider while maintaining an overall image of ‘free spiritness’. Other materials, in contrast, highlight similarities and community and minimize notions of difference. Based on interviews with teachers and authors of teaching materials the paper discusses practitioners’ challenges in practicing sexual education in a context of migration and intensified nationalist politics. The interview data reveal a complex mix of good intentions, necessity, prejudices and fear of involvement that all impact on the interweaving of sexuality education with notions of nationality.

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May 23rd, 10:00 AM May 23rd, 10:30 AM

Teaching ‘Danish’ sexuality: Investigating teaching materials targeting asylum seekers

In times of the so-called ‘European migration crisis’ access to the ‘right’ knowledge about sexuality has become a crucial component in governing national borders. In European media discourse the migrant man is repeatedly presented as a potential assailant who violates proper sexual conduct. This stereotypical image was intensified when German police on New Year’s Eve 2015 received numerous reports on sexual assaults against women perpetrated by what the media described as men of foreign background. The incident generated a flurry of reactions from European politicians. In Denmark, the debate focused on the need to educate asylum seekers in sober (legal) romantic and sexual behavior. As a result, compulsory education in “Danish sexual morals” was decided with a broad politically majority and introduced as part of the general Danish culture course by the summer of 2016. Through a critical multimodal discourse analysis this paper analyzes a range of teaching materials developed by different practitioners for teaching asylum seekers and young refugees about sexuality. The analysis demonstrates how some materials deploy linguistic and semiotic signs in paradoxical ways to draw clear boundaries between insider and outsider while maintaining an overall image of ‘free spiritness’. Other materials, in contrast, highlight similarities and community and minimize notions of difference. Based on interviews with teachers and authors of teaching materials the paper discusses practitioners’ challenges in practicing sexual education in a context of migration and intensified nationalist politics. The interview data reveal a complex mix of good intentions, necessity, prejudices and fear of involvement that all impact on the interweaving of sexuality education with notions of nationality.

https://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/lavlang/2021/sunday/7