The New Gay Teenager / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 64%)
Est. Return Date: 10/22/2014
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 91%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (22) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $9.22   
  • Used (16) from $1.99   


Gay, straight, bisexual: how much does sexual orientation matter to a teenager's mental health or sense of identity? In this down-to-earth book, filled with the voices of young people speaking for themselves, Ritch Savin-Williams argues that the standard image of gay youth presented by mental health researchers--as depressed, isolated, drug-dependent, even suicidal--may have been exaggerated even twenty years ago, and is far from accurate today.

The New Gay Teenager gives us a refreshing and frequently controversial introduction to confident, competent, upbeat teenagers with same-sex desires, who worry more about the chemistry test or their curfew than they do about their sexuality. What does "gay" mean, when some adolescents who have had sexual encounters with those of their own sex don't consider themselves gay, when some who consider themselves gay have had sex with the opposite sex, and when many have never had sex at all? What counts as "having sex," anyway? Teenagers (unlike social science researchers) are not especially interested in neatly categorizing their sexual orientation.

In fact, Savin-Williams learns, teenagers may think a lot about sex, but they don't think that sexuality is the most important thing about them. And adults, he advises, shouldn't think so either.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Meredith Small
Adolescence is no picnic--but is it especially hard for gay teens? Ritch Savin-William's ground-breaking book reveals that being young and homosexual is not the identity crisis we might expect. Today's teenagers are more at ease with homosexuality--and with a more flexible and shifting view of human sexuality in general--than their parents' and grandparents' generation. With a conversational style, personal history, and intimate interviews with teens, Savin-Williams transforms research into a great read. At a time when adults argue passionately over who has the right to do what with whom, kids must be laughing behind their backs.
AGERANGE: Ages 15 to adult.

“Gay, straight, bisexual: how much does sexual orientation matter to a teenager’s mental health or sense of identity?,” ask the publishers of The New Gay Teenager. According to the author, a lot has changed in 20 years, and the standard image of gay youth presented by mental health researchers--as depressed, isolated, drug-dependent, even suicidal--is “far from accurate” today. A professor of clinical and developmental psychology at Cornell University, Savin-Williams attempts to shed light on the day-to-day experiences of gay teenagers in this, his second book about gay youth. He does so by going straight to the source; The New Gay Teenager is full of personal histories and intimate interviews with teens who explain just what it’s like to be “postgay” and “gayish.” With his conversational style, Savin-Williams transforms his research into a fascinating account of the language modern gay youth use to describe their sexual preferences and experiences. His findings confirm what many other observers have noted: the current generation of youth has increasingly open ideas regarding sexuality that will likely have an unprecedented cultural impact. The New Gay Teenager is a highly accessible book that will be of particular value to adults and senior high school and advanced students looking to further understand the ways in which gay adolescents think about and construct their identities today. Reviewer: Sarah Howard
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

Savin-Williams takes the reader through many research studies in search of the new gay teenager. Today's gay youth are not the depressed, suicidal drug addicts found in studies conducted on teens in support groups and rehabs in the 1970s. Surprisingly the new gay teenager probably does not use the label "gay"; he or she may choose not to be tied to a sexual identity at all. This teenager is not hung up on labels and categories but sees himself or herself as an individual that cannot be defined by scientific study. Unfortunately, although the labels are unwanted by teenagers, they are required by researchers, thus making study of this group extremely difficult. The author suggests that the contemporary gay teenager is just a teenager who also happens to be gay. Sexual identity is no longer a defining characteristic but just one aspect of what makes the whole of a person. The reader is left with more questions than answers, but they are important questions requiring re-examination of the subject of sexuality and the categorization of youth. Although this book is full of intriguing insight, Savin-Williams provides much more information than the average librarian will need. Leave this read for those with a specific interest in the topic. 2005, Harvard University Press, 272p.; Index. Charts. Biblio. Source Notes., Ages adult professional.
—Heather Acerro
Library Journal
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 (Cornell Univ.), a pioneer in the study of sexual minority youth and the author of several groundbreaking books (e.g., Mom, Dad, I'm Gay), admits that "gay" may be a misnomer for the teens he interviewed. Many rejects 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. General readers will appreciate Savin-Williams's ability to transmit complicated concepts clearly. Recommended for any academic library collecting in psychology and gay studies.-David S. Azzolina, Univ. of Pennsylvania Libs., Philadelphia Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674022560
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2006
  • Series: Adolescent Lives Series , #3
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 951,328
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ritch C. Savin-Williams is Professor of Clinical and Developmental Psychology at Cornell University and author of "Mom, Dad. I'm Gay": How Families Negotiate Coming Out.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


1. Why the New Gay Teenager?

2. Who's Gay?

3. In the Beginning... Was Gay Youth

4. Models or Trajectories?

5. Feeling Different

6. Same-Sex Attractions

7. First Sex

8. Identity

9. Resilience and Diversity

10. Refusing and Resisting Sexual Identity Labels




Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2013

    Very educational and highly recommended

    The writer is very knowledgeable and speaks in a language anyone can understand. I am currently taking LGBT studies and this book speaks to the
    current adolescent perspective.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)