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  • Tanner_scale_history_sexualitiesfinal

    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Sexualities, 19 (3), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Sexualities page: http://sex.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/

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Tanner's puberty scale: exploring the historical entanglements of children, scientific photography and sex

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/03/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Sexualities
Issue number3
Volume19
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)328-346
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Globally, increasing numbers of children are thought to be going through early onset puberty. This much debated fact leads to significant concerns about young people’s sexualities, as early developers are thought to be more likely to engage in early sexual activity. Underpinning historical, national and subpopulation (including ‘racial’) comparisons is a standard measurement tool: the Tanner Scale of sexual development. The scale is based on James M. Tanner and R.H. Whitehouse’s ground-breaking longitudinal study of children’s growth undertaken in London between 1949 and 1971. This article explores the largely over-looked and under-theorized significance of the scale’s history, arguing that the study’s focus on children living in an English care institution and its material practices of documenting their growth, including photography, has important ethical and scientific implications for understanding sexual development as a biopsychosocial process.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Sexualities, 19 (3), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Sexualities page:
http://sex.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online:
http://online.sagepub.com/