Peggy Orenstein: What young women believe about their own sexual pleasure
Peggy Orenstein - Journalist, author
Peggy Orenstein explores the changing landscape of modern sexual expectations and its troubling impact on adolescents and young women. Full bio
about sexual assault on campus.
understand the ground rules for consent,
about sex is ending.
to engage safely, ethically,
about what happens after "yes,"
the biggest taboo of all
and entitlement to sexual pleasure.
talking to girls ages 15 to 20
and experience of sex.
entitled to engage in sexual behavior,
feel entitled to enjoy it.
at the Ivy League college
of smart, strong women.
and that's our form of feminine power."
to describe her sex life to me:
to be these docile creatures
what a smart, strong woman you are?"
strong image applies to sex."
that despite the hype,
more often or at a younger age
engaging in other behavior.
to risky behavior and disrespect.
to be less intimate than intercourse.
the same instruction manual --
were on the receiving end.
of reasons for participating.
to get out of an uncomfortable situation.
college said to me,
at the end of the night
want to have sex with him,
of girls performing one-sided oral sex
you were alone with a guy,
a glass of water from the kitchen,
that boys didn't want to.
around their genitals.
simultaneously icky and sacred.
to their enjoyment of sex.
a researcher at Indiana University,
self-image is under siege,
in their natural state.
remove their pubic hair -- all of it --
made them feel cleaner,
if left alone on a desert island,
choose to spend their time.
would be disgusted by it,"
talked about like that."
reminded me of the 1920s,
shaving their armpits and their legs.
came into style,
that this too is a sign.
is open to public scrutiny,
how it looks to someone else
another rise in labiaplasty.
of the inner and outer labia,
surgery among teenage girls.
two percent of all cosmetic surgeries,
appear fused like a clam shell,
has become so worrisome
of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
include scarring, numbness, pain
is still quite small,
as canaries in a coal mine,
about the way girls see their bodies.
at the University of Michigan,
in talking about all of this:
as well as personal implications,
the dishes in your house,
issues about inequality,
to engage in an experience.
define "good enough"?
are tricky and sometimes traumatic
that their early sexual experience
something that they get over.
were more likely than young men
as a measure of their satisfaction.
their satisfaction by their own orgasm.
bad sex differently.
on American sexual behavior,
in their sexual encounters
report sexual satisfaction levels
or greater than young men's --
hoping that it won't hurt,
if those criteria are met.
to feel close to your partner,
measure of an experience ...
for your own sexual fulfillment.
and thinking about it,
a kind of psychological clitoridectomy
to name all their body parts,
"here's your pee-pee."
go right from navel to knees,
situation in here unnamed.
to make something unspeakable
their puberty education classes
have erections and ejaculations,
of a woman's reproductive system --
kind of like a steer head --
of teenage girls age 14 to 17
into their partnered experience
they'll think sex is about them,
their needs, their desires, their limits.
in their partner's pleasure remains
at the same rate as men.
to get off the script --
that worked for them.
the idea of first intercourse
why we consider this one act,
with discomfort or pain,
of sexual adulthood --
than anything else.
how this is serving girls;
safer from disease,
mutuality and caring;
they see other sex acts;
without heterosexual intercourse.
you weren't a virgin anymore?"
that she wasn't a virgin anymore
her first orgasm with a partner.
intercourse isn't a big deal --
as a race to a goal,
as a pool of experiences
with a partner for three hours
tension and communication,
and hooks up with a random
before they get to college?
in thinking can happen though
more about sex --
in a different way --
about women in the public realm.
of 300 randomly chosen girls
experience of sex.
we say we want from our girls.
with their partner,
that their doctors, teachers and parents
and the importance of mutual trust.
less comfortable talking about sex,
about balancing responsibility and joy.
as a source of self-knowledge,
to revel in their bodies' sensuality
to ask for what they want in bed,
from unwanted pregnancy,
from their schools,
advocates and activists,
of girls to have a voice,
treatment in the home,
that intimate justice
About the speaker:Peggy Orenstein - Journalist, author
Peggy Orenstein explores the changing landscape of modern sexual expectations and its troubling impact on adolescents and young women.
Why you should listen
From her groundbreaking book, Schoolgirls, to her latest, Girls & Sex, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed young women across the country, mapping the terrain of adolescent female sexuality and gender expectations. Her interviews reveal an uncomfortable truth: although women may display self-confidence in public society, their knowledge of their own sexuality has plummeted, resulting in a “psychological clitoridectomy.”
In addition to her bestselling books, Orenstein writes for New York Times Magazine, comments for NPR and was recognized by the Columbia Journalism Review as among its “40 women who changed the media business in the past 40 years.”
Peggy Orenstein | Speaker | TED.com