ERIC Number: ED435874
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Aug-20
Getting Beyond "It Just Happened": Adolescent Girls' Experiences of Sexual Desire.
Tolman, Deborah L.
This document describes research pertaining to adolescent females' perceptions of sexual desire. It analyzes 30 interviews of girls, 15-18 years old, who are juniors in suburban and urban high schools. The key finding was identified as the dilemma of desire. Girls responded to the dilemma in three ways: simply not feeling the desire, resisting their own desire, or making a claim to their own desire. No pattern was found of race, ethnicity, or social location in each of these resolutions voiced by the girls. A narrative of one female's sexual encounters and a description of her sexuality is included.. Sexual desire, like all other forms of desire, can be empowering, instrumental in girls' confidence in themselves, essential to their agency, a compass for making decisions about relationships and sexuality, and a road to knowledge about self and relationships. We have to make it possible for girls to get beyond "it just happened" by fighting for girls' right to feel and act upon their own sexual feelings without having to be encumbered by the dilemma of desire. (Author/JDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (107th, Boston, MA, August 20-24, 1999).