From Maternity as Destiny to the Choice (or Non-Choice) of Parenthood. What is the Role of Sex Education?


  • Silvia Demozzi Dipartimento Scienze dell'Educazione Alma Mater Università di Bologna
  • Eleonora Bonvini



Sexual education, Motherhood, Woman-mother binary, Parental performativity, Human rights.Human rights


The contribution offers a reflection on sexual education as a tool through which to address issues related to motherhood and, more broadly, to models of parenthood and family, in order to break free from the conception of motherhood as a "sole" destiny (De Sanctis, Fariello, Strazzeri, 2020). This form of education aims to promote a broader view of parenthood, transcending both the woman-mother binary and forms of parental performativity (intensive parenting) (Hays, 1998; Shirani, Henwood, Coltart, 2012; Demozzi, Gigli, Cino, 2019). Internationally, it is recognized that fundamental human rights encompass the realm of sexuality as an integral part of universal human rights (WAS, 1997; WHO, 2010; UNESCO, 2018). Consequently, sexual education assumes an essential role in women's educational paths, promoting a culture of consent and respect, while transcending the traditional association between sexuality and motherhood and keeping open a pluralistic horizon.