In this groundbreaking study, Crista DeLuzio asks how scientific experts conceptualized female adolescence in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Revisiting figures like G. Stanley Hall and Margaret Mead and casting her net across the disciplines of biology, psychology, and anthropology, DeLuzio examines the process by which youthful femininity in America became a contested cultural category.
Challenging accepted views that professionals "invented" adolescence during this period to understand the typical experiences of white middle-class boys, DeLuzio shows how early attempts to reconcile that conceptual category with "femininity" not only shaped the social science of young women but also forced child development experts and others to reconsider the idea of adolescence itself.
DeLuzio's provocative work permits a fuller understanding of how adolescence emerged as a "crisis" in female development and offers insight into why female adolescence remains a social and cultural preoccupation even today.
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
DeLuzio... breaks new ground in her assiduous examination of the relationship between science and society by using age and gender as dynamically connected categories of analysis... A broad cross-section of scholars is likely to find DeLuzio's 'essay on sources' particularly valuable for future research. -- Miriam Forman-Brunell * Bulletin of the History of Medicine *
Deluzio skillfully weaves together social history and the intellectual history of science to show how ideas about age, drawn from nineteenth century views of social progress, intertwined with explanations of gender differences to construct the adolescent girl... This complex book will be the standard reference for those who want to know the scientific origins of modern perspectives on adolescent development. -- Kathleen W. Jones * Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth *
Female Adolescence in American Scientific Thought addresses historians of childhood, medicine, and human science, but scholars of women and gender will also find it valuable. -- Ellen Herman * Journal of American History *