From ‘informed’ to ‘virtuous’ choice: a theo-ethical case for the moral reconstruction of SRE policy discourse in England

Mark, Olwyn Elizabeth (2015) From ‘informed’ to ‘virtuous’ choice: a theo-ethical case for the moral reconstruction of SRE policy discourse in England. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / London School of Theology.

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Abstract

This thesis presents a theo-ethical critique of the liberal metanarrative that influences and shapes the current moral framework of Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) policy, in particular, the liberal approach towards sex education espoused by David Archard, which advocates providing young people with the maximum amount of information around their sexual choices, and defends a view of sexual morality which holds that anything sexually goes, as long as it is in private, between consenting adults and harms no-one else. In highlighting a liberal approach to policy making, this thesis reveals the liberal principles at work in health education and moral education, two central policy discourses that inform and shape SRE. In analysing the ethical theories therein and their underlying presuppositions, specifically those evident in an ‘informed choice’ approach, this thesis demonstrates the incoherence and inadequacy of the current moral framework, pointing in particular to the falsity of a self-legislated choice and the inadequate foundation for moral truth within the current framework. In addition, the adequacy of the current moral narrative on sex and relationships, as shown by Archard’s position, in shaping a robust public sexual ethic, is examined and critiqued. In adopting a constructive approach to public engagement, this thesis also demonstrates how a theological virtue ethic can enrich moral discourse in SRE. In particular, the virtues of Christian love and chastity are identified as two virtues which correspond with a Christian vision of human flourishing, dispositions that present a more adequate and coherent vision of a sexually and relationally educated young person.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > London School of Theology
Item ID: 17336
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2015 15:11
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2018 17:25
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/17336

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