Dilemmas of Desire by Deborah L. Tolman
Teenage Girls Talk about Sexuality

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



Be sexy but not sexual. Don't be a prude but don't be a slut. These are the cultural messages that barrage teenage girls. In movies and magazines, in music and advice columns, girls are portrayed as the object or the victim of someone else's desire--but virtually never as someone with acceptable sexual feelings of her own. What teenage girls make of these contradictory messages, and what they make of their awakening sexuality--so distant from and yet so susceptible to cultural stereotypes--emerges for the first time in frank and complex fashion in Deborah Tolman's Dilemmas of Desire.

A unique look into the world of adolescent sexuality, this book offers an intimate and often disturbing, sometimes inspiring, picture of how teenage girls experience, understand, and respond to their sexual feelings, and of how society mediates, shapes, and distorts this experience. In extensive interviews, we listen as actual adolescent girls--both urban and suburban--speak candidly of their curiosity and confusion, their pleasure and disappointment, their fears, defiance, or capitulation in the face of a seemingly imperishable double standard that smiles upon burgeoning sexuality in boys yet frowns, even panics, at its equivalent in girls.

As a vivid evocation of girls negotiating some of the most vexing issues of adolescence, and as a thoughtful, richly informed examination of the dilemmas these girls face, this readable and revealing book begins the critical work of understanding the sexuality of young women in all its personal, social, and emotional significance.


About Deborah L. Tolman

See more books from this Author
Deborah L. Tolman is Professor of Social Welfare at the City University of New York .
Published June 30, 2009 by Harvard University Press. 272 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Young Adult, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dilemmas of Desire

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

For all the panicky ink devoted to teen sex, until now there has been no academic study on what teenage girls actually want. Tolman, an associate director at the Center for Research on Women at Welles

Nov 18 2002 | Read Full Review of Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage G...

Reader Rating for Dilemmas of Desire

An aggregated and normalized score based on 11 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review