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Not Under My RoofParents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex$
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Amy T. Schalet

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226736181

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226736204.001.0001

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American Parents and the Drama of Adolescent Sexuality

American Parents and the Drama of Adolescent Sexuality

(p.52) (p.53) Three American Parents and the Drama of Adolescent Sexuality
Not Under My Roof

Amy T. Schalet

University of Chicago Press

This chapter presents interviews with American parents and the differences uncovered in these interviews—between fathers and mothers, between liberal and conservative parents, between past behavior and current approaches, and between cultural languages. However, if the differences and contradictions that characterize the American parents' conceptions of teenage sexuality and romance are easy to identify, a less apparent shared narrative of sequence unites them. Adolescent sexuality starts early with impulses, leads to battles, but becomes only fully legitimate once young people have successfully navigated these trials by fire and established autonomous households, an accomplishment both deeply desired and dreaded. Three frames structure that narrative: the first is hormone-based adolescent sexuality; the second is the battle between the sexes; and finally, until youth establish their autonomy through financial self-sufficiency or marriage, the principle of parent-regulated adolescent sexuality applies, leading a majority of parents to respond to the sleepover question with a resounding “No way, Jose.”

Keywords:   teenage sexuality, american parents, shared narrative, adolescent sexuality, hormone-based adolescent sexuality, sexes, parent-regulated adolescent sexuality

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