Maternal sexuality and breastfeeding

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28 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper I consider the ways in which lactation has been discussed as a form of maternalsexuality, and the implications this carries for our understanding of breastfeeding practicesand sexuality. Drawing on knowledge constructed in the western world during the last half ofthe twentieth century, the paper identifies a shift between the radical ideologies of the 1960sand 1970s and the newer moral conservatism of the 1990s. The emergence of lactation pornand erotica in the 1990s has meant that the sexuality of breastfeeding has been containedin a subculture outside of dominant cultural values, and so maternal sexuality has become amuted 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 beproductively rather than illicitly incorporated into the meanings we make of sexuality and ofbreastfeeding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-77
JournalSex Education: Sexualtiy, Society and Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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