Sexuality in Adolescence: The digital generation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sexuality in Adolescence

The digital generation, 1st Edition

By Meredith Temple-Smith, Susan Moore, Doreen Rosenthal


354 pages

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Sexuality in Adolescence: The Digital Generation provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of research and theory about adolescent sexuality in today’s world. The book examines biological, social and health-related approaches and reviews qualitative and quantitative research from psychology, sociology, epidemiology and medicine, emphasising the interplay between perspectives and privileging the voices of young people as they discuss the joys and pains of sexual awakening. The focus is on understanding healthy sexual development and its many variations, but problems and issues arising as young people make their journey to adult sexuality are also considered.

The book presents global research on many key issues of our time, including the impact of media and technology on adolescent sexuality, changes in adolescent sexual behaviors and beliefs, sexual risk taking, sex education, and teen pregnancy and abortion. This fully revised and updated third edition of Sexuality in Adolescence also addresses the crucial issues of sexual diversity, sexual safety and sexual communication, including coercion, peer pressure and double standards.

In Sexuality in Adolescence: The Digital Generation, the authors aim to promote sexual wellbeing, and argue for the importance of the adolescent period as a time for engendering healthy sexual attitudes and practices. This book will be valuable reading for students in the social, behavioural and health sciences who are interested in adolescent development and the topic of sexuality, as well as for professionals working with young people and families.


'This book is a remarkable achievement. The authors draw on over two decades of intimate involvement with sexuality research to paint a vivid picture of the diverse sexual lives of adolescents. They powerfully demonstrate that despite the complexities brought by the digital revolution, the search for identity and intimacy remains a timeless and fundamental quest for young people everywhere'. - Jayne Lucke, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Australia

'Two decades after the first edition, the third edition of this book is needed more than ever. So much has changed in adolescent sexuality—the role of social media, views of sexual diversity, norms regarding what counts as consent—and research has told us a great deal in the past 20 years about the changes as well as about the enduring complexity of the experience of reaching sexual and reproductive maturity. This book covers it all, and expands its scope to include not only adolescence but emerging adulthood (ages 18-24). It is an important synthesis of what we know, and essential reading for researchers, teachers, policy makers, and others who care about this crucial arena of young people’s lives'. - Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Clark University, USA author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties

Table of Contents

1. Introducing adolescent sexuality 2. Sexual behaviours and attitudes: What’s happening now? 3. Changing brains, changing hormones, changing bodies 4. The social context: parents and peers 5. The social context: sex education, religion and the law 6. Youth culture and the impact of media and technology 7. Gender, sexuality and romance 8. Sexual diversity 9. Sexually transmissible infections: management and consequences 10. Adolescent pregnancy: choices and outcomes 11. Sexual abuse, unwanted sex and sexual safety 12. Perspectives on adolescent sexuality: Two decades of change

About the Authors

Meredith Temple-Smith is an Associate Professor and a Director of Research Training in the Melbourne Medical School at The University of Melbourne, Australia.

Susan Moore is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, and Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society.

Doreen Rosenthal was Founding Director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society and is Emeritus Professor in the Melbourne School of Population Health at The University of Melbourne, Australia.

About the Series

Adolescence and Society

In the 20 years since it began, this series has published some of the key texts in the field of adolescent studies. The series has covered a very wide range of subjects, almost all of them being of central concern to students, researchers and practitioners. A mark of its success is that a number of books have gone to second and third editions, illustrating its popularity and reputation.

The primary aim of the series is to make accessible to the widest possible readership important and topical evidence relating to adolescent development. Much of this material is published in relatively inaccessible professional journals, and the objective of the books has been to summarise, review and place in context current work in the field, so as to interest and engage both an undergraduate and a professional audience.

The intention of the authors is to raise the profile of adolescent studies among professionals and in institutions of higher education. By publishing relatively short, readable books on topics of current interest to do with youth and society, the series makes people more aware of the relevance of the subject of adolescence to a wide range of social concerns.

The books do not put forward any one theoretical viewpoint. The authors outline the most prominent theories in the field and include a balanced and critical assessment of each of these. Whilst some of the books may have a clinical or applied slant, the majority concentrate on normal development.

The readership rests primarily in two major areas: the undergraduate market, particularly in the fields of psychology, sociology and education; and the professional training market, with particular emphasis on social work, clinical and educational psychology, counselling, youth work, nursing and teacher training.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent