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

Roberts, Celia (2016) Tanner's puberty scale:exploring the historical entanglements of children, scientific photography and sex. Sexualities, 19 (3). pp. 328-346. ISSN 1363-4607

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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.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Sexualities
Additional Information:
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/
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3314
Subjects:
ID Code:
74802
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Oct 2015 04:57
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Dec 2020 02:48