Youth Sexualities
Public Feelings and Contemporary Cultural Politics
by Susan Talburt, Editor
June 2018, 525pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5039-4
$138, £103, 119€, A187
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5040-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

From sexting to transgender bathroom wars, the sexual actions of young people reflect a rapidly changing society and culture with which the adult population must come to terms.

These volumes offer an in-depth analysis of youth sexualities as they shape and are shaped by public feelings and by American social, cultural, and political contexts.

The idea of youth sexuality makes many adults anxious, but sexuality is a very real part of youth and is the subject of many important social issues. Society now increasingly, sometimes grudgingly, recognizes youth as sexual actors; this collection examines contradictory public feelings related to youth sexualities, including perennial and new topics such as sex education, sexting, teen mothers, masculinities, sexualization, popular culture, the increasing visibility of LGBTQ youth, and the digital world.

The contributors examine the back-and-forth of adult and institutional concerns, policies, and practices as they both govern and are influenced by youths’ sexual subjectivities, identities, actions, and activism. The first volume historicizes “official knowledge” and cultural constructions of youth sexualities; offers examples of the “framing” of youth through research, film, the media, and transnational NGOs; and foregrounds youths’ experiences of sexuality in everyday life. The second volume considers adult and youth activism. Through first-person and analytical accounts, the book offers multiple perspectives of ways in which adult professionals, such as youth workers and researchers, can work side-by-side with youth rather than “above” or “in front of” them.


  • Focuses on a range of youth sexualities and experiences
  • Offers an innovative analysis of the role of public feelings to show how adults monitor youth sexualities and how youth actively respond
  • Provides researchers, policymakers, activists, NGO workers, educators, and communities new lenses through which to understand youth sexualities
  • Shows how activists work to include and address youth perspectives on difficult or unpopular topics
  • Incorporates the contributors’ expertise in disciplines ranging from women’s, gender, and sexuality studies to educational and cultural studies to communication, rhetoric, anthropology, and sociology
  • Connects research in youth sexualities to the increasingly influential “affective turn” perspective of critical theory
Susan Talburt, PhD, is professor and director of the Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. She has published books and articles about gender, sexuality, and educational studies; youth studies; research methodologies; and recent theorizing about “affect theory.” She has coedited (with Mary Lou Rasmussen and Eric Rofes) Youth and Sexualities: Pleasure, Subversion, and Insubordination in and out of Schools (2004) and (with Nancy Lesko) Keywords in Youth Studies: Tracing Affects, Movements, and Knowledges (2012; winner of the 2014 AESA Critics Choice Award).


"The social, cultural, political, and experiential landscape of sexuality and youth is rapidly changing. Youth Sexualities is a rare and timely collection that meets and maps the shifting local and transnational contours of this terrain head on and in ways that carefully attune to the felt textures and affective dimensions of how sexualities shape and are shaped by self, other, thing, and place. Each volume invites readers to expand their imaginaries of what youth sexualities can be and become from subjectivity formation and sexual be/longings to actions and activisms across different spatial and temporal domains and in everyday cultural practice. This wonderful collection will provide educational practitioners and students with an invaluable teaching and research resource, suitable for beginners and experts alike."—Emma Renold, Professor of Childhood Studies, Cardiff University, UK

"Public feelings about youth and sexuality by themselves are often negative. Put them together and you have a recipe for moral panic and 'protectionism' that denies young people their rights. Drawing on theories of citizenship, post-truth, and affect, this remarkable book documents past and present public responses towards young people and sexuality. Utterly contemporary and with contributions from world-class scholars, it offers a beacon of hope in the most difficult of times."—Peter Aggleton, Scientia Professor, Centre for Social Research in Health, UNSW Australia

"As public affect around sex continues (as always) to intensify, this exciting new collection brings theoretical rigor and nuance to the discussion. This is a superb resource, thinking and feeling its way through the collisions of sex, gender, place, race, and nation."—Cris Mayo, LGBTQ+ Center and Women’s and Gender Studies, West Virginia University
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.