Not My Kid What Parents Believe about the Sex Lives of Their Teenagers

ISBN-10: 0814722598
ISBN-13: 9780814722596
Edition: 2012
Authors: Sinikka Elliott
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Description: Teenagers have sex. While almost all parents understand that many teenagers are sexually active, there is a paradox in many parents’ thinking: they insist their own teen children are not sexual, but characterize their children’s peers as  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 8/13/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Teenagers have sex. While almost all parents understand that many teenagers are sexually active, there is a paradox in many parents’ thinking: they insist their own teen children are not sexual, but characterize their children’s peers as sexually-driven and hypersexual. Rather than accuse parents of being in denial, Sinikka Elliott teases out the complex dynamics behind this thinking, demonstrating that it is rooted in fears and anxieties about being a good parent, the risks of teen sexual activity, and teenagers’ future economic and social status. Parents--like most Americans--equate teen sexuality with heartache, disease, pregnancy, promiscuity, and deviance and want their teen children to be protected from these things. Going beyond the hype and controversy, Elliott examines how a diverse group of American parents of teenagers understand teen sexuality, showing that, in contrast to the idea that parents are polarized in their beliefs, parents are confused, anxious, and ambivalent about teen sexual activity and how best to guide their own children’s sexuality. Framed with an eye to the debates about teenage abstinence and sex education in school, Elliott also links parents’ understandings to the contradictory messages and broad moral panic around child and teen sexuality. Ultimately, Elliott considers the social and cultural conditions that might make it easier for parents to talk with their teens about sex, calling for new ways of thinking and talking about teen sexuality that promote social justice and empower parents to embrace their children as fully sexual subjects.

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Acknowledgments
Introduction
Sex Panics: Debates over Sex Education and the Construction of Teen Sexuality
The Asexual Teen: Na�vet�, Dependence, and Sexual Danger
Negotiating the Erotic: When Parents and Teens Talk about Sex
The Hypersexual Teen: Sexy Bodies, Raging Hormones, and Irresponsibility
Other Teens: How Race, Class, and Gender Matter
Anxious Monitoring: Strategies of Protection and Surveillance
Uncertainty in Parents' Sexual Lessons
Conclusion: Reconstructing Teen Sexuality
Methods Appendix
Notes
References
Index
About the Author

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