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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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“I Didn’t Even Want Them to Know”

“I Didn’t Even Want Them to Know”

(p.107) Five “I Didn’t Even Want Them to Know”
Not Under My Roof

Amy T. Schalet

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores how the management of sexuality induces in both American girls and boys a psychology of separation from adult society, and a bifurcation of sexual self and family life. We will see that the toll this process takes is gender-specific, for many American girls have been taught that they are not entitled to pursue sexual exploration or intimacy during their adolescence. Even when parents accept that their daughters explore their sexuality elsewhere, American girls fear that should evidence of their sexual activity present itself at home, they could lose their claim to good daughterhood. Expected to be “bad” by nature of their boyhood, American boys do not confront the same taboo that makes their sexuality a potential affront to the parent-child relationship. Even so, they too are taught that sexuality requires “breaking away” from home, psychically if not physically.

Keywords:   sexuality, separation, adult society, daughters, intimacy, good daughterhood, parent-child relationship

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