How do contemporary young people construct their sexual identities? Are young people sexually liberated, or is human sexuality increasingly controlled and manipulated by commercial forces? Thomas Johansson explores the construction of sexual identities by young people as part of a wider process of identity construction, combining the work of key authors such as Elias and Foucault with original and revealing empirical material drawn from an extensive survey of the views of 1300 sixteen to nineteen year olds, combined with a number of qualitative in-depth interviews with different sexual subcultures. Topics covered include fidelity and infidelity, love, homosexuality, pornography and beauty ideals. Designed to look beyond media images and popular prejudices the book illustrates how young people of both genders, of different nationalities and of different group allegiances view and relate to their own sexuality.
'This lucid and comprehensive presentation of contemporary forms of gender and sexuality among young people deserves to become a classic. Based on solid research and convincing arguments, it presents a most inspiring and up-to-date exploration of the intersections of sex and science, body and identity, pornography and power, gender and love, media and intimacy.' Johan FornÃ¤s, LinkÃ¶ping University, Sweden 'Thomas Johansson presents both persuasive empirical evidence and cogent theoretical arguments to demonstrate new ways of thinking about young people in contemporary socio-cultural contexts. This book lucidly integrates local knowledge and global trends to enhance our understanding of contemporary issues of sexuality, gender, ethnicity and identity.' Stephen Briggs, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, UK 'This book will be of great use to researchers working in the fields of youth gender and sexuality studies and youth cultural studies interested in contemporary research underway in Sweden and it provides a useful introduction to Swedish-language research in those fields generally…As an entry point for the Englishreader it is likely that this book will leave you with an enthusiasm for finding out more about Johansson’s 2000-2001 study.' Gender and Education 'Reading this book on a long train journey was a mistake. The constant interruptions and announcements were increasingly vexing as the text proved more and more interesting and enticing…the book is eminently readable and engaging and explores young people’s sexual identities and political agencies, as well as their behaviours and expressions. Its critical and questioning position, for example, in relation to developmental psychology, is thoughtful and relevant, and the whole tenor of the book is mature, multi-layered and yet accessible. It is a book I will return to again.' Critical Public Health
Contents: Preface; Introduction. Part I Scientia Sexualis: Pleasure and desire in modern times. Part II Youth, Gender and Sexuality: Positions and Transitions: Gender, sexuality and institutional settings; Gender and sexuality in youth culture research. Part III Desire and Identity in Contemporary Sweden: Gender order or disorder? with Nils Hammarén; Hegemonic masculinity and pornography, with Nils Hammarén; Feminism and reflexive sexuality; Young masculinities in transition; Multiculturalism, gender and sexuality. Part IV Conclusions and Epilogue: Youth in a post-traditional society; Epilogue: cyberspace, media and sexuality. Part V Appendix: Method and methodology. References; Index.