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The New Gay Teenager,9780674022560

The New Gay Teenager

by
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 11/30/2006
Publisher(s): Harvard Univ Pr
Availability: This title is currently not available.

Summary

Gay, straight, bisexual: how much does sexual orientation matter to a teenager's mental health or sense of identity? In this down-to-earth book, filled with the voices of young people speaking for themselves, Ritch Savin-Williams argues that the standard image of gay youth presented by mental health researchers--as depressed, isolated, drug-dependent, even suicidal--may have been exaggerated even twenty years ago, and is far from accurate today. The New Gay Teenager gives us a refreshing and frequently controversial introduction to confident, competent, upbeat teenagers with same-sex desires, who worry more about the chemistry test or their curfew than they do about their sexuality. What does "gay" mean, when some adolescents who have had sexual encounters with those of their own sex don't consider themselves gay, when some who consider themselves gay have had sex with the opposite sex, and when many have never had sex at all? What counts as "having sex," anyway? Teenagers (unlike social science researchers) are not especially interested in neatly categorizing their sexual orientation. In fact, Savin-Williams learns, teenagers may think a lot about sex, but they don't think that sexuality is the most important thing about them. And adults, he advises, shouldn't think so either.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Why the New Gay Teenager?
1(22)
Who's Gay?
23(26)
In the Beginning . . . Was Gay Youth
49(21)
Models or Trajectories?
70(23)
Feeling Different
93(20)
Same-Sex Attractions
113(20)
First Sex
133(23)
Identity
156(22)
Resilience and Diversity
178(16)
Refusing and Resisting Sexual Identity Labels
194(31)
Notes 225(16)
References 241(26)
Index 267

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