A Genealogy of Puberty Science explores the modern invention of puberty as a scientific object. Drawing on Foucault’s genealogical analytic, Pinto and Macleod trace the birth of puberty science in the early 1800s and follow its expansion and shifting discursive frameworks over the course of two centuries.
Offering a critical inquiry into the epistemological and political roots of our present pubertal complex, this book breaks the almost complete silence concerning puberty in critical theories and research about childhood and adolescence. Most strikingly, the book highlights the failure of ongoing medical debates on early puberty to address young people’s sexual and reproductive embodiment and citizenships.
A Genealogy of Puberty Science will be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the fields of child and adolescent health research, critical psychology, developmental psychology, health psychology, feminist and gender studies, medical history, science and technology studies, and sexualities and reproduction studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Towards a history of the present
PART 1 PRECOCIOUS LITTLE MONSTERS
2. Child monstrosity and the dilemma of nature
3. The monster, the modest girl, and the masturbating boy
4. Accounting for the mature-immature body
PART 2 FROM BIOLOGICAL TO CULTURAL MONSTROSITIES
5. From the world of the naturalists to the first population studies
6. The biosocial reconfigured: Puberty onset and the emergence of epidemiological risk
PART 3 THE SURVEILLANCE OF ALL
7. A most dangerous condition: Puberty science and the surveillance of all
8. The birth of the ‘normal’ pubertal body (and its dilemmas)
9. Conclusion: Puberty in crisis
Pedro Pinto is an independent science and technology studies scholar from Lisbon. His previous research work focused on post-feminist discourse, embodiment, and the industrialisation of sexual and gender difference.
Catriona Ida Macleod is Distinguished Professor of Psychology, SARChI Chair of Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction at Rhodes University, South Africa, and editor-in-chief of Feminism & Psychology.