This book explores the intersection in contemporary Western culture of Catholic sexual theology and adolescent female developmental and sexual experiences. The voices of adolescent females, so long silent in sexual theologies, are given privilege here in the articulation of a normative theology.
Applying a feminist natural law framework, the book engages both theoretical scholarship and practical evidence from psychological and other social sciences to inform sexual theology in the Catholic tradition. Attending to gendered, developmental, and social contexts, Doris Kieser explores adolescent females’ experiences of puberty, menarche, various sexual activities, communities of support, sexual desire, and the pleasure and danger these realities reap. She critically explores historical and traditional sexual theologies and prevailing social patriarchal and androcentric sexual attitudes through a feminist lens.
The author’s attention to the voices of girls and women, and her aim to see their sexual flourishing in particular and diverse social contexts, yields a theology mindful of the rich complexities of female sexual desire, pleasure, and well-being. The result is an integrated sexual theology that grapples with the Catholic theological tradition, feminist theory and theology, and the embodied experiences of females. For anyone who is invested in the lives and well-being of adolescent females, this work uncovers both barriers and boons to their sexual flourishing.
About the Author
Doris M. Kieser is an assistant professor at St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta. She teaches ethics and theology in the areas of bioethics, sexuality, the body, and spirituality. She also maintains a counselling practice, working primarily with adolescent girls and women. Her work includes elements of both theology and psychology, particularly in connection with adolescent development, moral decision-making, and human/female flourishing.
Table of Contents
1 What's a Girl to Do? An Introduction 1
2 Natural Law in the Roman Catholic Theological Tradition 23
3 Feminist Natural Law 41
4 Females, Sexuality, and Gender: Theological Anthropology 57
5 Adolescent Females in a Contemporary Context: Sex, Gender, and Development 77
6 Adolescent Females in a Contemporary Context: Physical/Biological Development 93
7 This One's for the Girls: Adolescent Females and Flourishing 119
8 Girls and God: Adolescent Females and a Sexual Theology of Flourishing 143