Sexual Cultures and the Construction of Adolescent Identities

Edited by Janice M. Irvine
Book Cover

PB: $33.95
EAN: 978-1-56639-136-8
Publication: May 94

HC: $90.50
EAN: 978-1-56639-135-1
Publication: May 94

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-0162-5
Publication: May 94

336 pages
6 x 9
7 tables, 3 figs.

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

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 (pdf).


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."

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, and Mindy Thompson Fullilove


"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

"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

Table of Contents


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

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).


In the Series

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