Sexual Subjectivity among Adolescent Girls: Social Disadvantage and Young Adult Outcomes

Citation

Cheng, Simon; Hamilton, Laura; Missari, Stacy; & Ma, Josef (2014). Sexual Subjectivity among Adolescent Girls: Social Disadvantage and Young Adult Outcomes. Social Forces. vol. 93 (2) pp. 515-544

Abstract

A risk framework characterizing teenage sexual activities as dangerous, especially for girls, has dominated research on teenage sexuality. Consequently, girls' sexual subjectivity has been virtually unexamined by large-scale quantitative research. We use the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine teenage girls' expectations of pleasure during intercourse and sexual self-efficacy, reflecting two key components of sexual subjectivity. Our findings indicate that youth from less socioeconomically privileged families report lower expectations than their privileged peers. There are also racial/ethnic disparities: Black-white differences can be explained by class, religion, and regional sexual education variation, but Latina and Asian girls display disadvantages even after controlling for these factors. Using a life-course approach, we show that dimensions of sexual subjectivity offer wide-reaching benefits in young adulthood, spanning multiple domains—including future sexual health, mental and physical health, and socioeconomic standing. We address the implications of our findings for the reproduction of inequality and conceptualizations of sexual risk and well-being.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1093%2Fsf%2Fsou084

Notes

(Kuo-Hsun)

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Social Forces

Author(s)

Cheng, Simon
Hamilton, Laura
Missari, Stacy
Ma, Josef

Year Published

2014

Volume Number

93

Issue Number

2

Pages

515-544

Edition

August 25, 2014

DOI

10.1093/sf/sou084

Reference ID

5114