This essential book explores how women experience and express their sexuality from childhood through old age. Moving beyond a traditional focus on sexual functioning, the book emphasizes the complex interaction of psychological, social, cultural, and biological influences on the creation of individual sexual meanings--meanings central to each woman's experience of herself as a sexual person. The author shows how these meanings are often problematic and contradictory, causing many women to feel disconnected from their bodies and from their needs and desires. Demonstrating how problematic myths and messages can be challenged, the book outlines ways that women can be empowered to create a more comfortable and self-defined sexuality throughout life.
* Scholarly and comprehensive, yet accessible.
* Practical: suggests exercises and interventions.
* Unique in emphasizing a psychological perspective (not biological or medical).
Table of Contents
I. The Enigma of Women's Sexuality.
1. Opening Pandora's Box.
II. Childhood and Adolescence.
2. Teaching the Children.
3. Adolescence: Biological and Psychological Development.
4. Menstruation: Initiation into Womanhood.
5. "Bawdy" Image: From Subject to Object.
6. Who Loves Ya, Babe?: Sexual Intimacies and Expression.
III. Young Adulthood.
7. Biological and Psychological Development.
8. Creating a Life.
9. In the Prime of Life: Living in Our Bodies.
10. Fanning the Flames of Desire. IV. THE MIDDLE AND LATER YEARS.
11. Biological and Psychological Development.
12. When Being "Hot" Takes on New Meaning: Menopause.
13. The Festival of Lipid Migration: Bodily Changes and Body Image.
14. Intimate Connections: Sexual Expression and Relationships.
15. Coming Full Circle.
The Sexual Development of Children and Adolescents;
Body Image and Struggles with Weight;
The Aftermath of Sexual Violence;
Lesbian Identity and Sexual Orientation;
Reproductive Health and Decision Making;
Disability and Illness;
Issues for Women in the Middle and Later Years.
"I recommend this book to women who want to learn more about their sexual selves and to the counselors who want to help them. In addition, I hope this book is widely adopted in human sexuality courses and women's studies courses. This is a book that challenges and informs."
-The Journal of Sex Research
"[This book is] a text for students and teachers in women's studies programs; a manual for therapists, social workers, and nurse practitioners; a treatise for those interested in how the cultural and social context shapes sexual development; and a feminist critique of patriarchal power. I was especially struck by the volume of information on every conceivable aspect of women's sexuality."
-Journal of Feminist Family Therapy
"Daniluk's humor and attention to context and the wholeness of life connect and define this work, and her overall integration of themes makes it essential reading for those interested in gender issues, feminine sexuality, the role of social constructs in female sexual issues, and the relation of sexuality to stages of the life span."
"This volume excels at exploring the psychological and biological stages of a female's sexuality in an easy-to-understand format....Age appropriate exercises are provided in a step-by-step replicable format that can be administered to clients in either individual or group formats.....Recommended for all counselors."
from the publisher's website