Monday, April 28, 2008

Fresh Talk about Sex

It's amazing to me how little research exists on teenage and young adult sexuality in contrast to all the hot media air the topic seems to inspire. At this weekend's Council on Contemporary Families Conference in Chicago, I had a chance to listen in as journalists and sex researchers shared their latest thinking on hook ups, the orgasm gap, and girls gone wild.

Hook ups, argued Deb Tolman, founder of the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State and a scholar of adolescent sexuality, follow a rather male model of sexual behavior. Friends-with-benefits do not a "relationship" make, and hookups are supposed to occur without those nasty little things called "feelings" getting the way. How did that model get so broadly accepted as ok?, Tolman wanted to know. She added that the question of what "good sex" means is still up for grabs. Who decides? Is it always about orgasms? Kids need adults to talk openly about sexual pleasure in concrete terms.

But back to hookups. At the same time that hookups are part of kids' sexual landscape, they are not the landscape in its entirety. Tolman reminded the crowd that the recent emphasis on hooking up overlooks the fact that coupledom still exists. Couples just ain't sexy news. Pepper Schwartz later noted that relationships during adolescence were NEVER easy. So if we're saying hookups are bad, what are we comparing them to? Young people today get more intimacy from each other than in days of yore. And perhaps that's not such a bad thing after all.

Tolman feels strongly that the topic of teen sexuality has been reductively portrayed, fueled by moral panic. Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Unhooked, bypassed this (veiled?) critique of her recent work, concentrating instead on the downsides of hooking up. "Young women say they don't have time for relationships, so they play at relationships -- faux ones, aka hook ups -- while they're busy getting everything else done," said Stepp.

And then came the larger frame. Stanford researcher Paula England commented that we've had a sexual revolution without much of a gender revolution in the bedroom. The focus in sex is still, often, male pleasure (orgasm gap being alive and well) and there's a double standard about women initiating both dates and sex. Compare this to the gender revolution we've made in the realms of jobs and education. With sex, we're still a bit in the dark ages.

England drew on findings from the College Social Life Study, which gathered quantitative data from students at Stanford and Indiana and qualitative data from an online study. According to the numbers, hookups do NOT threaten relationships. It's true that most hookups don't lead to relationships, but it's also true that most relationships are preceded by hookups. When asked if they want to marry someday, under 2% of young women and men said NO; 98% said YES.

As the panel reached its close, my crew--late 30something/early 40something academic women--whispered conspiratorily amongst ourselves. "And what about hook ups in your 30s?" we asked, directed at nobody in particular. After all, hook ups are how many of us grown ups begin our long-term relationships these days. And I'm here to say hook ups ain't all bad. Heck, I'm marrying mine!

For more on the CCF conference, see coverage in Saturday's USA Today and Chicago Tribune.

18 comments:

Paula said...

Very useful summary of an unusually complex and substantive discussion of the "hook-up culture." Indeed, it's not black and white -- with social pressures being strong and harmful, but then informed decisions also being possible. While much progress certainly remains, it's important to not totally portray teen girls as totally powerless and exploited in their sexuality. I agree that teenage sexuality has ALWAYS been difficult through history, as well as with the point that sex within a relationship is the standard of many teenage girls.

Deborah Siegel said...

Thank you for your comment, Paula! Now that I know it's you, Paula Kamen, I can give a shout out right back. Everyone: check out Paula's book, Her Way. It's great!

marc said...

Love your post! I can just see Pepper, Paula E. and others lining up at the mic. The comments are always the best part of the presentation. So sorry I missed this year.

The issue of hookups is fresh in my mind too, as I'm paging through Jessica Valenti's book from last year. So often we forget that sex research, especially in this context, is very much within if not a core of family research.

Lewis Richard said...

People are with the impression that rocking sex is one that lasts for a substantial length of time. Sadly, due to this misconception, even when they are having proper sex they feel unsatisfied. Please note that no ED drug can either prolong the duration of sex and or enhance the sexual pleasure. It is only meant to assist towards having a proper sexual intercourse between a couple. It is also advisable that you avoid wine and whiskey in an attempt to make your night more romantic as drugs like http://www.levitrabliss.com/ are not that compatible together.

Hail said...

Viagra improves erections for most men no matter how long they have had erectile dysfunction, taken approximately 30 minutes before your plan of sexual activity and works on stimulation for around 4 hours.

poston said...

There are ed hardy shirts
,pretty ed hardy shirt for men,

ed hardy womens in the ed hardy online store

designed by ed hardy ,
many cheap ed hardy shirt ,glasses,caps,trouers ed hardy shirts on sale ,

You can go to edhardyshirts.com to have a look ,you may find one of ed hardy clothing fit for you
Top qualitymen's jacket,
These cheap jacket are on sale now,you can find
north face jackets inmage on our web
Ralph Lauren Polo Shirtsbuberry polo shirts

Do you wannaghd hair straighteners for you own , we have many
cheap ghd hair straightenersin style and great,you can choose one from these
hair straighteners
Authentic chaussure puma
chaussure sport
And chaussure nike shoes
Come here to have a look of our Wholesale Jeans
Many fashionMens Jeans ,eye-catching
Womens Jeans ,and special out standing
Blue Jeans ,you can spend less money on our
Discount Jeans but gain really fine jeans, absolutely a great bargain.
http://www.weddingdressseason.com
 

http://CLOTHES-WHOLESALE.US

China Wholesale
wholesale from china
buy products wholesale
China Wholesalers
http://www.weddingdressseason.com

poston said...

There are ed hardy shirts
,pretty ed hardy shirt for men,

ed hardy womens in the ed hardy online store

designed by ed hardy ,
many cheap ed hardy shirt ,glasses,caps,trouers ed hardy shirts on sale ,

You can go to edhardyshirts.com to have a look ,you may find one of ed hardy clothing fit for you
Top qualitymen's jacket,
These cheap jacket are on sale now,you can find
north face jackets inmage on our web
Ralph Lauren Polo Shirtsbuberry polo shirts

Do you wannaghd hair straighteners for you own , we have many
cheap ghd hair straightenersin style and great,you can choose one from these
hair straighteners
Authentic chaussure puma
chaussure sport
And chaussure nike shoes
Come here to have a look of our Wholesale Jeans
Many fashionMens Jeans ,eye-catching
Womens Jeans ,and special out standing
Blue Jeans ,you can spend less money on our
Discount Jeans but gain really fine jeans, absolutely a great bargain.
http://www.weddingdressseason.com
 

http://CLOTHES-WHOLESALE.US

China Wholesale
wholesale from china
buy products wholesale
China Wholesalers
http://www.weddingdressseason.com

lla said...

Wilson k factor KTour the flexibility of a good tennis racket is suitable for all type, doubles, singles players. Wilson k six shoot better on the first rotation speed to produce a very good help.Babolat aeropro drive Racquets is Nadal's babolat tennis racket used.In many places to be able to buy cheap tennis racquets.Babolat pure drive is a Babolat be proud of the company products, and a large number of professional tennis players to choose from, coupled with near-perfect design and adapt wider.
ralph lauren polo
Burbrery Polo Shirts
Cheap polo shirts
wholesale polo shirts
ralph lauren polo shirts
cheap ralph lauren polos
discount ralph lauren polos
polo clothing

lla said...

Ed hardy clothes in Hollywood is a very popular brand hot.Classic tattoo art and fashion classic elements included in the ed hardy clothing .Simple ed hardy t-shirts is also a work of art.Therefore it is not difficult to understand why a ed hardy shirts , simple lines is an array.Ed hardy sunglasses undoubtly are their necessary ornaments when go out. Ed hardy mens and ed hardy womens are very innovative in his admiration of the design.
Wholesale Handbags
Cheap Handbags
Womens Handbags
Cheap Purses
Designer Handbags
ralph lauren polo
burberry polo shirt

Sahara Thompson said...

Propecia is a steroid reductase inhibitor, works by reducing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone in the body. This may block certain types of hair loss in men.

redison said...

viagra
is the best thing for me. I'm a frequent user and it never let me down.

MaryaDoc said...

I think this is great that we have a lot of Online Pharmacy. Cause it is easier to save money with them. For example, I want to buy Viagra or buy Cialis or buy Levitra, then I just go to my favorite discount pharmacy and buy generic levitra. I choose it because this medicine works fine for me. My friend had some problems with health, his doctor prescribed him some antibiotics, so he spent about one thousand dollars!!!! If he knew about that pharmacies, he could save a lot of money and no physician needed.

D'r kepler said...

FDA approved mens health medication viagra is not a drug to be taken lighliy you should read all about the pros and cons regarding the medication before you buy viagra!

DrJohn said...

What other drugs such as nefazodone an enzyme that is the information does my medication is sildenafil acts by both these areas of the penis erection buy viagra to treat erectile dysfunction. What happens if you are drafted to tell your.

mathew said...

Interesting information is very useful for many people the truth seems to me important to read an articles of this kind, thanks for sharing with us and I want to read an article about Negocios Rentables because I want to start a business

DrJohn said...

. If you have questions about the program or the written requirements. What should I avoid buy accutane while taking Accutane? Do not take vitamin supplements containing

male said...

For men who want bigger, harder, longer-lasting erections, there's now VigRX Plus™, a fresh twist on the already popular VigRX™, but designed to further enhance men's sexual functioning with the addition of three exciting new ingredients: Damiana, Tribulus, and Bioperin. Doctor endorsed and rated #1 for results by clients of penis enlargement consumers. rated two penis pills is vimax. if you find about male enhancement this products is the best and proven to work, there products have money-back guarantee in effectiveness and result.

2010 Wedding Dresses said...

thanks for your sharing! great helpful!!!Thank you
Louboutin Shoes 
Christian Louboutin Shoes
Christian Louboutin Pumps 
louboutin
Christian Louboutin Boots 
Christian Louboutin Pumps
Christian Louboutin Heels 
Christian Louboutin Sandal
Pigalle Christian Louboutin 
fur boots
christian louboutin fur boots
louboutin pumps
louboutin fur boots
coyote fur boots
christian louboutin heels
silver strappy sandals
christian louboutin toundra
loubitan studded bow peep
Wedding Dress Shops
vintage wedding dresses 
wedding dresses
cheap mobile phone
Wedding Dress Shops
Wedding Dresses 2011
Wedding Dress Shops
Off the Shoulder Wedding Dresses
bridal jackets
wedding jackets
bridal jackets
halter neck wedding dresses
off the shoulder wedding dresses
vintage wedding dresses
wedding dresses with sleeves
wedding jackets for the bride