chapter  7
Progressive Public Pedagogies of Pregnancy and Choice
Pages 19

In this chapter, I interrogate public pedagogies of sexual education that may be constituted as progressive and secular. A woman’s right to choose is a key theme in progressive sexuality education, and here I consider how competing secular perspectives are positioned in public debates around pregnancy, abortion, and choice. Others have turned their attention to the different ways teen mothers’ choices are calibrated by distinctions of race, class, and ability in filmic representations (Jarman, 2012; Lutterell, 2011). Luttrell, in her discussion of Juno (Reitman, 2007) and Precious (Daniels, 2009), perceives these films as public pedagogies that orient young women to their bodies, sexuality, and maternal subjectivities in ways that continue to cultivate class and race inequality (Lutterell, 2011: 295). Akin to Lutterell, I see these films as public pedagogies of sexuality education. My focus is on how these films, and associated popular and scholarly commentaries, orient readers toward pedagogical assemblages that are regulated by particular attachments among liberalism, feminism, and secularism. These public pedagogies have ramifications for progressive sexuality education because they are powerful devices for teaching about choice and pregnancy and their intersections with race and class.