Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity

Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity

Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity

Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity

Synopsis

While Latina girls have high teen birth rates and are at increasing risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections, their sexual lives are much more complex than the negative stereotypes of them as "helpless" or "risky" (or worse) suggest. In Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself, Lorena Garcia examines how Latina girls negotiate their emerging sexual identities and attempt to create positive sexual experiences for themselves. Through a focus on their sexual agency, Garcia demonstrates that Latina girls' experiences with sexism, racism, homophobia and socioeconomic marginality inform how they engage and begin to rework their meanings and processes of gender and sexuality, emphasizing how Latina youth themselves understand their sexuality, particularly how they conceptualize and approach sexual safety and pleasure. At a time of controversy over the appropriate role of sex education in schools, Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself, provides a rare look and an important understanding of the sexual lives of a traditionally marginalized group.

Excerpt

I walked eighteen-year-old Alicia to the reception area of the Chi-Town Health Teen Center after we wrapped up our first interview. I had met the high school senior two weeks earlier when she came in for an appointment to obtain birth control pills. We chatted about our weekend plans as we made our way toward the door, the previously busy waiting room, with its colorful flyers and posters, now empty. One hot-pink flyer shouted, “Come join our teen group!” Another bright-green flyer simply read, “Please ask for your brown bag at the front counter” (each bag contained twelve condoms). A large poster featuring a smiling brown-skinned Latino baby asked, “Have you immunized your child?” In less than thirty minutes, the center would close for the day; the rusted steel folding gate on the outside entrance was already extended at four in the afternoon. Alicia paused in front of the door to cautiously pull back the curtains on the windows of the double doors. Nervously surveying the street, she explained that she did not want to be “busted” by her parents or other relatives as she left the center. She had told her parents that she was going to attend a yearbook club meeting after school . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.