The Trouble with Normal: Postwar Youth and the Making of Heterosexuality

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 1997 - Social Science - 224 pages
In this study, Mary Louise Adams explores discourses about youth and their place in the production and reproduction of heterosexual norms. She examines debates over juvenile delinquency, indecent literature, and sex education to show not why heterosexuality became a peculiar obsession in English Canada after the Second World War, as much as how it came to hold such sway. Drawing on feminist theory, cultural studies, and lesbian/gay studies, The Trouble with Normal is the first Canadian study of 'youth' as a sexual and moral category. Adams looks not only at sexual material aimed at teenagers but also at sexual discourses generally, for what they had to say about young people and for the ways in which 'youth, ' as a concept, made those discourses work. She argues that postwar insecurities about young people narrowed the sexual possibilities for both young people and adults.
 

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In The Trouble with Normal: Postwar Youth and the Making of Heterosexuality, Mary Louise Adams argues, “Social conditions particular to the postwar period combined to put notions about youth and ... Read full review

Contents

Sexuality and the Postwar DomesticRevival
18
Discursive
39
The Sexual Meaning of Delinquency
53
Sex Advice for Teens
83
Debates over Sex Education in Toronto
107
Corruptibility Youth and the Case
136
Conclusion
166
NOTES
173
SOURCES
197
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS
215
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

MARY LOUISE ADAMS is an assistant professor in the School of Physical and Health Education at Queens University.

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