Women's Sexuality across the Life Span : Challenging Myths, Creating Meanings book cover
1st Edition

Women's Sexuality across the Life Span
Challenging Myths, Creating Meanings

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ISBN 9781572309111
Published August 21, 2003 by Guilford Press
416 Pages


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Book Description

This essential book explores how women experience and express their sexuality from childhood through old age. Moving beyond a traditional focus on sexual functioning, the book emphasizes the complex interaction of psychological, social, cultural, and biological influences on the creation of individual sexual meanings--meanings central to each woman's experience of herself as a sexual person. The author shows how these meanings are often problematic and contradictory, causing many women to feel disconnected from their bodies and from their needs and desires. Demonstrating how problematic myths and messages can be challenged, the book outlines ways that women can be empowered to create a more comfortable and self-defined sexuality throughout life.

Table of Contents

I. The Enigma of Women's Sexuality
1. Opening Pandora's Box
II. Childhood and Adolescence
2. Teaching the Children
3. Adolescence: Biological and Psychological Development
4. Menstruation: Initiation into Womanhood
5. "Bawdy" Image: From Subject to Object
6. Who Loves Ya, Babe?: Sexual Intimacies and Expression
III. Young Adulthood
7. Biological and Psychological Development 
8. Creating a Life
9. In the Prime of Life: Living in Our Bodies
10. Fanning the Flames of Desire
IV. The Middle and Later Years 
11. Biological and Psychological Development 
12. When Being "Hot" Takes on New Meaning: Menopause 
13. The Festival of Lipid Migration: Bodily Changes and Body Image 
14. Intimate Connections: Sexual Expression and Relationships 
15. Coming Full Circle
The Sexual Development of Children and Adolescents
Body Image and Struggles with Weight
The Aftermath of Sexual Violence
Lesbian Identity and Sexual Orientation
Reproductive Health and Decision Making
Disability and Illness
Issues for Women in the Middle and Later Years

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Judith C. Daniluk, PhD, is Professor and Director of Training in the Counselling Psychology Program at the University of British Columbia.