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Abstracts of dissertations

Love, Sex and Gender: Young Adults’ Intimate Trajectories into Adulthood
 
Author
Marques, Ana C
anacristina.hmarques@gmail.com
Portugal

Supervisor
Professor Analia Torres
Sociology
Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Universidade Técnica de Lisb
Portugal

Year of completion 2014

language of dissertation Portuguese

Keywords
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Youth
  • Intimacy
Areas of Research
  • Youth
  • Family Research
  • Population
Abstract
Based on semi-structured interviews with 60 young people, aged 18-29 years old, living in Leiria, Portugal, and belonging to different social backgrounds, this work analyses the intimate paths of a group of young people and its articulation with their transitions into adulthood, with special attention paid to the representations, values and norms that guide young people’s sexual and/or love practices and relationships; and the contexts, networks and social positions in which they are immersed. The dissertation argues that young people’s knowledge about sexuality and their construction of sexual and gender identities is based in multiple socialization spaces. This is because family, friends, partners, media and the new information technologies transmit contradictory information and/or have different possibility fields. In these contexts, young people create their own patchwork of ideas (Almeida, 2013). Thereafter, young people tend to have diverse, multiple, and often contradictory practices and representations of sexuality. They draw on different sexual scripts that exist in society (romantic, essentialist, hedonist...) according to their social circumstances and positioning, their interpersonal encounters, and the possibilities they admit at an intra-psychic level. Simultaneously, the study finds that the domain of intimacy, namely sexuality, is not trivial for young people’s transitions into adulthood. Intimacy, affection, sexuality, and gender have practical implications in their lifestyles and/or may affect their expectations, especially with regards to leaving home, conjugal living, and/or parenthood. Finally, the importance of intimacy and the relational aspects of life are underlined, e.g. in terms of family relations, friendship, sexual and love relationships and parenthood, against the “risks” of the individualized world that characterize contemporary western societies.