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Adolescent sexual awakening is reevaluated in terms of social and cultural influences

Sexual Cultures and the Construction of Adolescent Identities

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edited by Janice M. Irvine

"Will we engage with adolescents in frank discussion about sexual options and ethics or will we enforce a moralistic silence that resonates with fear and shame? Can we talk with teenagers about what they want to know, or can we only tell them what we want them to know?"
—From the Editor's Introduction

This rich collection of essays presents a new vision of adolescent sexuality shaped by a variety of social factors: race and ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, physical ability, and cultural messages propagated in films, books, and within families. The contributors consider the full range of cultural influences that form a teenager's sexual identity and argue that education must include more than its current overriding message of denial hinged on warnings of HIV and AIDS infection and teenage pregnancy. Examining the sexual experiences, feelings, and development of Asians, Latinos, African Americans, gay man and lesbians, and disabled women, this book provides a new understanding of adolescent sexuality that goes beyond the biological approach all too often simplified as "surging hormones."

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Excerpt

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).

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Reviews

"A book of compelling importance—this volume dissects contemporary myths about adolescent sexuality and presents a startling and powerful cultural and political analysis of adolescent development, sexuality and sexual expression. I recommend this book with a sense of urgency."
Dr. Michael A. Carrera, Director, National Adolescent Sexuality Training Center, The Children's Aid Society

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Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Part I: Contexts and Theories
1. Culture, Identities, and the Discourse of Adolescent Sexuality – Janice M. Irvine
2. Adolescent Development: Whose Perspective? – Jill Taylor
3. Sexuality Education for Immigrant and Minority Students: Developing a Culturally Appropriate Curriculum – Janie Victoria Ward and Jill Taylor

Part II: Culture and Communities
4. Culture, Context, and HIV Infection: Research on Risk Taking Among Adolescents – Lee Strunin
5. Asian American Adolescents: Issues in the Expression of Sexuality – Connie Chan
6. AIDS and Latino Adolescents – Luisa Medrano
7. Homophobia, Identity, and the Meanings of Desire: Reflections on the Cultural Construction of Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Sexuality – Diane Raymon
8. Daughters with Disabilities: Defective Women or Minority Women? – Harilyn Rousso

Part III: Texts and Conversations
9. Keeping Adolescents in the Picture: Construction of Adolescent Sexuality in Textbook Images and Popular Films – Mariamne H. Whatley
10. Young Women and Their Dream Lovers: Sexuality in Adolescent Fiction – Linda K. Christian-Smith
11. What Friends Are For: On Girls' Misogyny and Romantic Fusion – Sharon Thompson
12. Daring to Desire: Culture and the Bodies of Adolescent Girls – Deborah L. Tolman
13. Speaking Across Cultures Within Your Own Family – Janet Kahn
14. Teens Talk Sex: Can We Talk Back? – Robert E. Fullilove, Warren Barksdale, and Mindy Thompson Fullilove

About the Contributors

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About the Author(s)

Janice M. Irvine is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts and author of Disorders of Desire: Sex and Gender in Modern American Sexology (Temple).

Contributors: Jill Taylor, Janie Victoria Ward, Lee Strunin, Connie Chan, Luisa Medrano, Diane Raymon, Harilyn Rousso, Mariamne H. Whatley, Linda K. Christian-Smith, Sharon Thompson, Deborah L. Tolman, Janet Kahn, Robert E. Fullilove, Warren Barksdale, Mindy Thompson Fullilove, and the editor.

Subject Categories

Sexuality Studies/Sexual Identity
Sociology


In the series

Health, Society, and Policy, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola.

No longer active.

Health, Society and Policy, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola, takes a critical stance with regard to health policy and medical practice, ranging broadly in subject matter. Backlist titles include books on the legal and professional status of midwifery, the experience and regulation of kidney transplants, the evolution of federal law on architectural access, and a political/ethical argument for making the community responsible for universal access to health care.

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