Female Adolescent Sexuality in the United States, 1850-1965 (Paperback)
This book examines the history of female adolescent sexuality in the United States from the middle of the nineteenth century until the beginning of the 1960s. The book analyzes both adult perceptions of female adolescent sexuality and the experiences of female adolescents themselves. It examines what girls knew (or thought they knew) about sex at different points in time, girls' sexual experiences, girls' ideas about love and romance, female adolescent beauty culture, and the influence of popular culture on female adolescent sexuality. It also examines the ways in which adults responded to female adolescent sexuality and the efforts of adults to either control or encourage girls' interest in sexual topics, dating, girls' participation in beauty culture, and their education on sexual topics. The book describes a trajectory along which female adolescents went from being perceived as inherently innocent and essentially asexual to being regarded (and feared) as primarily sexual in nature.
Ann Kordas is professor in the Humanities Department at Johnson & Wales University.