"Assaults" and "Objects": Images of and Discourse on Child-Adolescent Sexuality

10/2010–10/2013 / Project Head: Prof. Dr. Insa Härtel
(10/2010–10/2012 Bremen University, 10/2012–10/2013 IPU)

Financed by: German Research Foundation (DFG) project (GZ: HA 5911/2-1)

Project Description
This cultural sciences study examined the current application of "child-adolescent sexuality" – in its powerful sociocultural state as well as in its confusing and irritating potential.

One starting point was the current cultural "infuriation" with the figure of the child, which has been shown to be part of the social potential for conflict. Fending it off is something which recurs in manifold situations in Western images and discourses on child-adolescent sexuality. Material from art and media was analysed which took transboundary-sexual aspects as its subject matter. Across a broad spectrum, motives e.g. of misuse, "sexual degradation", the loss of innocence or even being kidnapped, play a role here. At the same time, the productions examined do not leave us untouched in their reception – and thus the question also arises about the effective "assaults" and gains in pleasure here.

The individual media items examined: The article in Stern magazine "Voll Porno!"/All Porno (2007); two publications from the field of exposure journalism in the paedophile/child pornography area (Haide 2003; Karremann 2007); a piece by the photographer Sally Mann ("Venus After School" 1992); various Britney Spears productions (including "… Baby One More Time" 1999; "Crossroads" 2002); pieces by the artist Tracey Emin (including "Why I Never Became a Dancer" 1995; "Top Spot" 2004); a piece by the artist Tseng Yu-Chin ("Who's Listening?" 2003-2004).

Project publications
Insa Härtel (in collaboration with Sonja Witte): Children of Arousal. "Assaults" and "Objects" in Cultural Constellations of Child-Adolescent Sexuality. Bielefeld: transcript 2014.

Applicant/Project Head 10/2010-10/2013
Prof. Dr. Insa Härtel
IPU Berlin
Stromstr. 3b
10555 Berlin
E-Mail: insa.haertel(at)ipu-berlin.de

Research Associate 10/2012-10/2013
Sonja Witte, M.A.
E-Mail: sonja.witte(at)ipu-berlin.de