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The New Gay Teenager (Adolescent Lives) Hardcover – April 30, 2005

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Boidyke. Stem. Down low. Trannyboy. In this lively and broadly researched book, Cornell University psychologist Savin-Williams reveals that the words gay teenagers use to describe their sexual preferences have changed radically over the past 30 years, and so have their attitudes towards same-sex relationships. In fact, many of them are reluctant to define their sexuality at all. "In some respects," Savin-Williams explains, "these teenagers might relate better to their pre-labeled, pre-identified grandparents than they do with their gay-liberated parents or their gay-resigned older cousins." "For them 'gay' carries too much baggage," and apparently they get along just fine without it. Much of the volume is devoted to Savin-Williams's detailed critique of the psychological models currently used to study gay adolescence, which were developed in the 1970s and have barely changed since. These old models, Savin-Williams argues, don't reflect the diversity of the current gay adolescent experience and should be replaced with a "differential developmental trajectories perspective." His book is an excellent resource for professional psychologists with gay patients, but it also contains enough invigorating, real-world case studies to interest general readers.
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Review

That there has been a sea change in attitudes about sexual minorities in the past few generations is not news. What is remarkable, however, is the growing nonchalance of contemporary adolescents about their own sexuality. Savin-Williams, a pioneer in the study of sexual minority youth and the author of several groundbreaking books, admits that 'gay' may be a misnomer for the teens he interviewed. Many reject labels altogether and prefer to see themselves as free agents. Savin-Williams, likewise, rejects the developmental-stage ideas of sexual identity that have dominated psychological theory for over 30 years. Most important, by carefully listening to the experiences of the teenagers, he confirms what many other observers have noted: the generation coming of age now has increasingly open ideas about sexuality that will likely create huge cultural shifts in the coming decades. (David S. Azzolina Library Journal 2005-03-01)

In this lively and broadly researched book, Cornell University psychologist Savin-Williams reveals that the words gay teenagers use to describe their sexual preferences have changed radically over the past 30 years, and so have their attitudes towards same-sex relationships. In fact, many of them are reluctant to define their sexuality at all...Much of the volume is devoted to Savin-Williams's detailed critique of the psychological models currently used to study gay adolescence, which were developed in the 1970s and have barely changed since. These old models, Savin-Williams argues, don't reflect the diversity of the current gay adolescent experience...His book is an excellent resource for professional psychologists with gay patients, but it also contains enough invigorating, real-world case studies to interest general readers. (Publishers Weekly 2005-04-06)
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Product Details

  • Series: Adolescent Lives (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1st edition (April 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674016734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674016736
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,262,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a therapist working with high-risk teens for several decades, I've been puzzled by how few gay teens I've seen. And in my routine questioning of teens about all aspects of their lives, I've had few responses to questions about sexuality, other than, "straight". I've rather thought that, perhaps, this might be accounted for by gay-les-bi teens seeking help within a "gay-les-bi" agency, combined with Colorado Springs' reputation for homophobia. But most teens with whom I speak over a longer time mention friends who are gay-les-bi (though not trans) -- and this has been true for about ten years. But given what I've read, and still read, in "research" and the news, about "high suicide rates" and extreme bullying -- all of which I took to be the norm -- I stayed a bit puzzled as to why I wasn't seeing gay-les-bi teens.

"The New Gay Teenager", especially in combination with Savin-Williams' earlier book, ...And Then I Became Gay: Young Men's Stories, gave me a better "norm" of what was happening developmentally with gay-les-bi teens, and equally important, with all my young clients regardless of their sexual fantasies, attractions, behaviors and identities. This stands the developmental history I was taught on its head, and not just in terms of sex & sexuality. Savin-Williams and the research he cites presents all development, not just gay-les-bi-trans sexual development, in what I suspect is becoming a more contemporary and realistic light. The emphasis isn't on fitting kids into categories, sexual or developmental, but what Savin-Williams calls differential developmental trajectories.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I haven't had time to get into the book, other than the first 3 or 4 chapters. It is kind of overwhelming when I don't understand gay relationships to begin with. I wanted the book to let me know what a teen is going through coming out to family, and the public and how, as family, we can make it easier. I certainly haven't given the book a chance to address that yet, if it does. So far, I read that most girls have no hang up with this issue or at least are more comfortable with being gay. But teen boys do, which I am witnessing for myself. I am just getting into the area of medical study of genes, environment, families, etc..that MAY influence gayness. No scientific proofs yet. I do know that the one thing that helps most is Unconditional Love for the person.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This product arrived on time and in great condition. The book itself has been quite insightful, especially in my field. I work with teens, so this book provided great examples on some of the issues that plague them. I would highly recommend this seller and book!
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Format: Paperback
Promotes a self-serving theory that teens are becoming "pan-sexual;" encourages rejection of "gender-categories;" and that the ultimate goal for teens should be to feel comfortable having sex with either boys or girls. Irresponsible and damaging to teens who are navigating through normal adolescent experiences. No good can come from the oppressed becoming the oppressor, bending all to their beliefs. Why can't a boy feel close or emotionally connected to another boy without being labeled as "gay" or "bi-sexual?" i.e., Isn't it possible that a teenage boy who likes fashion is just that: a teen-aged boy who likes fashion? Why is a "Gay is cool; straight is homophobic" agenda allowed to predominate in the media? Reprehensible tripe. Teach tolerance, not lies.
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