An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex; In Which Are Inserted by Mary Astell, Judith, fl. Drake, A. Roper, E. Wilkinson, R.

By Mary Astell, Judith, fl. Drake, A. Roper, E. Wilkinson, R. Clavel

Name: An Essay in Defence of the feminine intercourse. : during which Are Inserted the Characters of a Pedant, a Squire, a Beau, a Vertuoso, a Poetaster, a City-Critick,

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Extra info for An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex; In Which Are Inserted the Characters of a Pedant, a Squire, a Beau, a Vertuoso, a Poetaster

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In general, boys seemed more reluctant to engage with the diary format than girls. Sebastian (N, 14), for example, focused on describing media he had seen, explaining in interview that this was a deliberate strategy because he was not able to write about his ‘feelings’. Even at this stage, however, many students clearly oriented their tasks to a ‘public sphere’, as when Lysa (S, 10, D), with more than a touch of defiance against an imaginary interlocutor, declared of a problem page ‘I want you to know that the page below does not make me feel uncomfortable in any way it’s excellent’.

According to them, sex education in schools taught them nothing new; while parents’ efforts in this respect were generally quite misplaced: Kelly (N, 14, P): My mum has spoken to me about bits, but it’s embarrassing. And we kind of know it all already, don’t we? Indeed, for some, much of the embarrassment here seemed to derive from having to pretend that they did not know about such things, in order to keep their parents happy. While some, like Courtney, believed that their parents were content for them to ‘know it all’, others felt that parents might be disturbed to discover the full extent of their 43 44 Young People, Sex and the Media knowledge.

For instance, Kelly’s (N, 14, W) notes on the video assessed each one in terms of its didactic content in earnest terms that seemed almost out of place in relation to a cartoon: ‘Watching The Simpsons made me think what “love” is really about and what it really does mean. (…) I think this helps people to try and be faithful to their partners and how to tell a partner the truth about past cheatings etc’. As with the scrapbooks, then, our research often provoked a moral discourse that Phil (N, 12, P) identified bluntly as ‘a mum thing’.

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