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SGL Spotlight: The Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development

The Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development, edited by Sharon Lamb and Jen Gilbert, is here!

SGL’s own Deb Tolman and Jenn Chmielewski contributed a chapter for the volume, “From tightrope to minefield: How the sexual double standard lives in adolescent girls and young women’s lives.”

Book description

The Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development is a carefully curated conversation that brings together the top researchers in child and adolescent sexual development to redefine the issues, conflicts, and debates in the field. The Handbook is organized around three foundational questions: first, what is sexual development? Second, how do we study sexual development? And third, what roles might adults – including the institutions of the media, family, and education – play in the sexual development of children and adolescents? As the first of its kind, this collection integrates work from sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, education, cultural studies, and allied fields. Writing from different disciplinary traditions and about a range of international contexts, the contributors explore the role of sexuality in children’s and adolescents’ everyday experiences of identity, family, school, neighborhood, religion, and popular media.


‘Too often, views of sexuality in childhood and adolescence are negative, presenting children and young people as ‘innocent’, ‘reckless’ or ‘victims’. At last, we have a book that redresses the balance. Focusing on topics as diverse as the media, family and education, and examining sexuality from the early years to young adulthood, this outstanding book offers a beacon of hope in dark times.’

Peter Aggleton – University of New South Wales and Australian National University

‘The Cambridge Handbook of Sexual Development is a timely, much-needed resource for those who crave context and depth. This book tackles the landscape of sexual development with well-written, engaging, thought-provoking interdisciplinary contributions. Readers at every level will find theories, methods, and data to mull over, learn from, and explore.’

Rebecca Plante – Ithaca College, New York

‘This comprehensive and innovative Handbook will rapidly become the standard reference in the field, as it smoothly engages the complexities of interdisciplinary academia along with rapidly changing cultural contexts. The editors gave their contributors the freedom to define ‘sexual development’ from their own point of view, which has produced a uniquely rich and readable tapestry of topics and perspectives.’

Leonore Tiefer – Founder, New View Campaign

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