Online and In-Person Book Launch: 'Teenage Dreams: Girlhood Sexualities in the US Culture Wars' by Dr Charlie Jeffries

Allison McKibban's picture
July 13, 2022
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Popular Culture Studies, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies
Birkbeck's Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters project (SHaME) is thrilled to announce the official launch of Charlie Jeffries’s new book, Teenage Dreams: Girlhood Sexualities in the US Culture Wars (Rutgers University Press, 2022). After a short reading from the book, Charlie Jeffries will be in conversation with Professor Joanna Bourke, followed by a Q+A discussion and reception. The event is online and in-person, but sign up is required. 

Utilizing a breadth of archival sources from activists, artists, and policymakers, Teenage Dreams examines the race- and class-inflected battles over adolescent women’s sexual and reproductive lives in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century United States. Charlie Jeffries finds that most adults in this period hesitated to advocate for adolescent sexual and reproductive rights, revealing a new culture war altogether–one between adults of various political stripes in the cultural mainstream who prioritized the desire to delay girlhood sexual experience at all costs, and adults who remained culturally underground in their support for teenagers’ access to frank sexual information, and who would dare to advocate for this in public. The book tells the story of how the latter group of adults fought alongside teenagers themselves, who constituted a large and increasingly visible part of this activism. The history of the debates over teenage sexual behavior reveals unexpected alliances in American political battles, and sheds new light on the resurgence of the right in the US in recent years.

Links to sign-up here:
Contact Info: 

Allison McKibban - Senior Associate Fellow - Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters (SHAME) Project