Maternal sexuality and breastfeeding

Bartlett, Alison (2005) Maternal sexuality and breastfeeding. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 5 (1). pp. 67-77. ISSN 1468-1811

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[Abstract]: In this paper I consider the ways in which lactation has been discussed as a form of maternal sexuality, and the implications this carries for our understanding of breastfeeding practices and sexuality. Drawing on knowledge constructed in the western world during the last half of the twentieth century, the paper identifies a shift between the radical ideologies of the 1960s and 1970s and the newer moral conservatism of the 1990s. The emergence of lactation porn and erotica in the 1990s has meant that the sexuality of breastfeeding has been contained in a subculture outside of dominant cultural values, and so maternal sexuality has become a muted discourse, sometimes bordering on the immoral and illegal. My project in this paper, however, is to argue that breastfeeding pleasure is physiologically 'normal' and should be productively rather than illicitly incorporated into the meanings we make of sexuality and of breastfeeding.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This is an electronic version of an article published in Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 5 (1), Feb. 2005, pp.67-77. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning is available online at:,5,8;journal,6,18;linkingpublicationresults,1:106624,1
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:29
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: maternal sexuality, breastfeeding, lactation,
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
Identification Number or DOI: DOI: 10.1080/146818142000301894

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