Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex / Edition 1

Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex / Edition 1

by Judith Levine
     
 

A radical, refreshing, and long overdue reassessment of how we think and act about children's and teens' sexuality.

Sex is a wonderful, crucial part of growing up, and children and teens can enjoy the pleasures of the body and be safe, too. In this important and controversial book, Judith Levine makes this argument and goes further, asserting that America's

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Overview

A radical, refreshing, and long overdue reassessment of how we think and act about children's and teens' sexuality.

Sex is a wonderful, crucial part of growing up, and children and teens can enjoy the pleasures of the body and be safe, too. In this important and controversial book, Judith Levine makes this argument and goes further, asserting that America's attempts to protect children from sex are worse than ineffectual. It is the assumption of danger and the exclusive focus on protection-what Levine terms "the sexual politics of fear"-that are themselves harmful to minors.

Through interviews with young people and their parents, stories drawn from today's headlines, visits to classrooms and clinics, and a look back at the ways sex among children and teenagers has been viewed throughout history, Judith Levine debunks some of the dominant myths of our society. She examines and challenges widespread anxieties (pedophilia, stranger kidnapping, Internet pornography) and sacred cows (abstinence-based sex education, statutory rape laws). Levine investigates the policies and practices that affect kids' sex lives-censorship, psychology, sex and AIDS education, family, criminal, and reproductive law, and the journalism that begs for "solutions" while inciting more fear.

Harmful to Minors offers fresh alternatives to fear and silence, describing sex-positive approaches that are ethically based and focus on common sense. Levine provides optimistic, though realistic, prescriptions for how we might do better in guiding children toward loving well-that is, safely, pleasurably, and with respect for others and themselves.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816640065
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
665,668
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Foreword
Author's Note
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Peril and Pleasure, Parenting and Childhood
IHarmful Protection
1Censorship: The Sexual Media and the Ambivalence of Knowing3
2Manhunt: The Pedophile Panic20
3Therapy: "Children Who Molest" and the Tyranny of the Normal45
4Crimes of Passion: Statutory Rape and the Denial of Female Desire68
5No-Sex Education: From "Chastity" to "Abstinence"90
6Compulsory Motherhood: The End of Abortion117
7The Expurgation of Pleasure127
IISense and Sexuality
8The Facts: ... and Truthful Fictions141
9What Is Wanting?: Gender, Equality, and Desire155
10Good Touch: A Sensual Education178
11Community: Risk, Identity, and Love in the Age of AIDS199
Epilogue: Morality218
Notes227
Index277

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