ADOLESCENT LIVES
Cover: The New Gay Teenager in PAPERBACK

Adolescent Lives 3

The New Gay Teenager

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$26.00 • £20.95 • €23.50

ISBN 9780674022560

Publication Date: 11/30/2006

Trade

288 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

3 line illustrations, 14 tables

Adolescent Lives

World

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.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2005 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues Distinguished Book Award, Division 44 of the American Psychological Association
Why We Act: Turning Bystanders into Moral Rebels, by Catherine A. Sanderson, from Harvard University Press

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Who among us hasn’t considered what our lives would be like if we had taken alternate paths, made different decisions? Storytellers of every stripe write of the lives we didn’t have, says Andrew H. Miller, author of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives. As we live through a worldwide pandemic, the ideas of what might have been are even more appealing. Much like the adolescents on the verge of adulthood in Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Miller tells us, we wait to see what comes next.