Cover: The New Gay Teenager, from Harvard University PressCover: The New Gay Teenager in PAPERBACK

Adolescent Lives 3

The New Gay Teenager

Product Details


Print on Demand

$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674022560

Publication Date: 11/30/2006


288 pages

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

3 line illustrations, 14 tables

Adolescent Lives


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That there has been a sea change in attitudes about sexual minorities in the past few generations is not news. What is remarkable, however, is the growing nonchalance of contemporary adolescents about their own sexuality. Savin-Williams, a pioneer in the study of sexual minority youth and the author of several groundbreaking books, admits that ‘gay’ may be a misnomer for the teens he interviewed. Many reject labels altogether and prefer to see themselves as free agents. Savin-Williams, likewise, rejects the developmental-stage ideas of sexual identity that have dominated psychological theory for over 30 years. Most important, by carefully listening to the experiences of the teenagers, he confirms what many other observers have noted: the generation coming of age now has increasingly open ideas about sexuality that will likely create huge cultural shifts in the coming decades.—David S. Azzolina, Library Journal

In this lively and broadly researched book, Cornell University psychologist Savin-Williams reveals that the words gay teenagers use to describe their sexual preferences have changed radically over the past 30 years, and so have their attitudes towards same-sex relationships. In fact, many of them are reluctant to define their sexuality at all… Much of the volume is devoted to Savin-Williams’s detailed critique of the psychological models currently used to study gay adolescence, which were developed in the 1970s and have barely changed since. These old models, Savin-Williams argues, don’t reflect the diversity of the current gay adolescent experience… His book is an excellent resource for professional psychologists with gay patients, but it also contains enough invigorating, real-world case studies to interest general readers.Publishers Weekly

Adolescence is no picnic—but is it especially hard for gay teens? Ritch Savin-Williams’s ground-breaking book reveals that being young and homosexual is not the identity crisis we might expect. Today’s teenagers are more at ease with homosexuality—and with a more flexible and shifting view of human sexuality in general—than their parents’ and grandparents’ generation. With a conversational style, personal history, and intimate interviews with teens, Savin-Williams transforms research into a great read. At a time when adults argue passionately over who has the right to do what with whom, kids must be laughing behind their backs.—Meredith Small, Professor of Anthropology, Cornell University

Awards & Accolades

  • 2005 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues Distinguished Book Award, Division 44 of the American Psychological Association

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