CSSR Events

Puberty science and the politics of development: Childhood, normalisation and citizenship, a conversation between Celia Roberts and Pedro Pinto

25 August 2022

This year the CSSR hosted a conversation between authors Celia Roberts and Pedro Pinto on their books on puberty science.  Celia Roberts, author of Puberty in Crisis: The sociology of early sexual development (Cambridge, 2017) is a Professor in the School of Sociology at the Australian National University and works in the interdisciplinary fields of Feminist Technoscience Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Pedro Pinto, author of A Genealogy of Puberty Science (Routledge, 2019) is research associate at the CSSR. He works at the crossroads of science and technology studies and critical theories of sexual and gendered embodiment. Joining them as discussant was Peter Hayes, senior lecturer in Politics at the University of Sunderland whose research into puberty has been published in a variety of journals.

To view a recording of this event, please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojio_-JBsBs

Apologies for the missing few minutes in the middle. The host's electricity tripped.

Puberty science talk



Annual RAPP Events

The annual RAPP event brings together academics, researchers, students, activists, practitioners, and policy makers for in-depth discussions about research in relation to advocacy, policy, and practice within the field of sexualities and reproduction.


RAPP 2021

7 October 2021

Youth Sexualities Empowerment Programmes

On 7 October 2021 we hosted  RAPP 2021. Our focus this year was on youth sexualities empowerment programmes.

Increasingly, youth sexuality education has been identified as a key area of concern within South Africa (particularly in the context of high levels of HIV and gender-based violence). While literature has shown that sexuality education can be effective in reducing ‘risky’ sexual practices, South African scholars have highlighted potential shortcomings of such programmes within South Africa. Namely, an overriding emphasis on danger and disease, a focus on knowledge provision and behavioural change that fails to take account of contextual issues, and a re-inscription of inequalities in terms of various social identities. Such findings suggest that it is important to evaluate (and re-evaluate) the nature, scope, and pedagogical foundations of youth sexuality education, to safeguard sustainable change in the area of youth sexual and reproductive health (SRH). The concept of empowerment (particularly when deployed in the context of youth sexuality education) offers an opportunity to adopt a broader, integrative to youth SRH that acknowledges the role played by context in informing SRH outcomes.

The programme started off with Deevia Bhana speaking on the prospects, potentialities and possibilities of youth sexualities education in South Africa. Deevia Bhana is a Professor and the South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Gender and Childhood Sexuality whose research focuses on building an understanding of gender and childhood sexualities across the young life course in South Africa.

Sarah Moore then presented on the Masizixhobise Toolkit which is currently being developed by the CSSR, in partnership with Partners in Sexual Health. The aim of the toolkit is to provide organisations and researchers with mechanisms to design, refine or evaluate empowerment-focused sexuality education programmes using a critical sexual and reproductive citizenship (CSRC) lens. In this presentation, Sarah Moore, who is currently working on the toolkit’s development at the CSSR, provided an overview of the CSRC framework, followed by discussion on the operationalisation of these theoretical principles into the guiding questions that serve as the foundation for the toolkit. 

We then gave a platform to three of South Africa’s most prominent NGOs working in the area of youth sexualities: LoveLife, Soul City Institute, and Partners in Sexual Health. Representatives from these organisations gave an overview of their youth sexualities programmes and spoke to their approaches to youth sexualities empowerment.

If you would like to view the podcast made of the event click here: https://youtu.be/ic1LwJsoxzc




Previous events

RAPP 2020

Abortion Services: Rural Interventions and Abortion Counselling

Following the successful 2019 RAPP event, co-hosted by the CSSR and the SRJC, entitled: Sexuality education, counter-normative sexualities, and confronting our own sexualities, this year we propose that the event focus on the topic of abortion.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that academics, researchers, students, activists, practitioners, and policy makers alike can engage with one another. Instead of hosting the in-person workshops that the RAPP event held last year, this year the RAPP event will go digital. RAPP 2020 will consist of three online sessions running over a three-week period and include panels, presentations, and breakout workshops. This online approach is beneficial as it helps to broaden the number of guest speakers and participants who can attend, which further helps to bridge the gap that the RAPP event seeks to address between researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and advocates.


You can download the programme here: RAPP 2020 Programme

You can download the report here: RAPP 2020 Report





RAPP 2019

Sexuality Education, Counter-Normative Sexualities, and Confronting our Own Sexualities

2019 saw the introduction of the annual Research in Relation to Advocacy, Policy, and Practice (RAPP) event co-hosted by the CSSR and the SRJC. The event focused on sexualities and included workshops and a public lecture by Professor Dennis Francis.

This event was held at Rhodes University from 7 to 9 October 2019

Last Modified: Wed, 31 Aug 2022 09:11:52 SAST