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(p. 129) Adolescent Female Desire: Influences on the Construction of Agency and Desire 

(p. 129) Adolescent Female Desire: Influences on the Construction of Agency and Desire
Chapter:
(p. 129) Adolescent Female Desire: Influences on the Construction of Agency and Desire
Author(s):

Sharon Lamb

, and Julie Koven

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190841874.003.0013
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date: 21 October 2020

The development of healthy female sexuality is a complex and multidimensional process. In understanding female adolescent sexual development, we must understand both the suppression and the celebration of female desire in its historical and structural contexts. Feminist theorists have long studied the suppression of desire and connected that desire to both subjectivity and agency. However, desire remains an elusive concept. This chapter reviews the history of desire and sexual freedom, looks at three historical and institutional influences over adolescent sexual desire (gender inequality, education, and the media), and then interrogates the idea of sexual agency to understand how adolescents and young women conceive of sexual agency today in a neoliberal context. The chapter ends with suggestions for practice, education, and activism to help promote healthier female sexual development.

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