Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, General.


Adam, B.




This study examines how a local group of 15 and 16 year old young women understand and give meaning to their own, as well as other teenage females', sexuality. Two distinct views are featured. First, the specific value system of the analysts of a 'deviance' approach to female teenage sexuality which depict female teenage sexuality as wrong, deviant, dangerous, and in need of control. And second, the social constructionist view which questions these values and depictions of sexuality as well as the myriad of values and behaviours that also exist. This research agrees with the theory of social constructionism that views sexuality as a learned and scripted phenomenon. The goal of this thesis is to establish if young women escape the dominant, patriarchal values and regulatory systems surrounding female sexuality, as well as if a feminist alternative to female sexuality is adopted. It was found that the young women in the study face five of the dilemmas encountered by generations before them. These dilemmas are: the double standard; fear of a bad reputation; lack of pleasure in sex; an unfair grounds for bargaining with regard to sex; and a lack of sufficient language for the positive expression of sex. Also, the young women in the study were reluctant to identify themselves as feminist despite endorsing many ideals of feminism. It was concluded that there is a dichotomy between discourse for self and other, a significant lack of pleasure among teenage female sexual experience, and a definite need for feminism to be encouraged. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-02, page: 0501. Adviser: Barry D. Adam. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.