Vassar College Digital Library
This dual thesis utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to examine Asian American sexual literacies in the distinct areas of family, schooling, and media using Critical Discourse Analysis to consider the role of power in knowledge and panopticism in normative sexual behaviors. I conceive of sex education in broad strokes as messages and sexual communications absorbed and challenged in different spaces such as the home, the predominantly white school, the liberal arts college, and the Asian/American media landscape. Centering of the voices of Asian American women and gender non-binary people aimed to discern the particular vulnerabilities in being the object of sexual fetish and exoticism. How do these individuals make sense of biculturalism, intergenerational conflict, and intersectional identities to develop sexual agency? I adapted Jean Kim's Asian American Identity Development (AAID) framework to incorporate sexual identity development concurrently with racial identity. I collected data from eight semi-structured, qualitative interviews with college-age 1.5/second generation Asian American women/gender non-binary people of East Asian descent. Based on interview findings, I conclude with suggestions for sex education curriculum to promote an anti-racist, feminist perspective as well as directions for future research.
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