More about “The Hearts of Boys”

Contexts Magazine has just published a special on “the hearts of boys” with contributions from scholars across several disciplines, offering different perspectives on the inner lives of boys.

Healthy Teen Network

Tomorrow I fly to the Healthy Teen Network Conference in Minneapolis, where I will be receiving the The Carol Mendez Cassell Award for Excellence in Sexuality Education. Looking forward to connecting with all the wonderful folks at the HTN conference.


Distinguished Scholarly Research Award

Not Under My Roof has won the American Sociological Association Children and Youth Section’s 2012 Distinguished Scholarly Research Award!

Award for Excellence in Sexuality Education

Recently, I received the exciting news that I was awarded the Healthy Teen Network’s Carol Mendez Cassell Award for Excellence in Sexuality Education, which is “dedicated to promote and reward the application of science in the practice of sexuality education policy and programs:” The Healthy Teen Network describes the award further:

The Carol Mendez Cassell Award recognizes sexuality educators who demonstrate commitment to the application of research in the practice of sexuality education policy and programs. Carol Mendez Cassell, a sexuality educator with more than three decades of directing educational research and prevention programs, offers this award in the belief that an evidence-based approach is essential in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of future sexual health policies and programs.

Counseling Adolescents on Sexual Health

In the Q&A following my plenary address at the annual meeting of AASECT (The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) in Austin, Texas, yesterday, a member of the audience talked about counseling adolescents about sexual health.  He is a physician and realized that short of asking his teenage patients whether they use condoms when they have sex, he was at a loss for the language to talk about sexual health.  Many physicians with whom I have worked have raised the issue of a lack of a “script” to talk with adolescents about sexuality in a more positive and comprehensive fashion.  I have collaborated with my colleagues in medicine to create an educational module for clinicians that discusses the practical applications of the ABCD model for adolescent sexual health.  The module: “Beyond Abstinence and Risk: A New Paradigm for Adolescent Sexuality” can be downloaded here.  Other articles on the New ABCDs can be found here.

Romantic Boys

Today the New York Times published my oped, entitled, “Caring, Romantic Boys”.  Those of you following the themes I discuss in this blog won’t be surprised by the argument.  I’ve been noticing in my research and that of others, as well as in interacting with audiences when I give public presentations, that the theme of boys and the need to have a more nuanced understanding of their motivations and experiences keeps coming back.  There’s been some additional conversations about this going on at the Good Men Project.  Let me know if you see others!

March Speaking Events

I’ve just finished the last of 5 March speaking events that took me across the country: The Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University, the CDC National STD Prevention Conference (in Minneapolis this year), the “Consider This” speaker’s series, hosted by Planned Parenthood Orange and San Bernardino Counties, Friday’s at Newcomb at Tulane University, and finally a panel on “Sexual Socialization in the 21st Century” at the meetings of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans.  I spoke before young people, parents, health policy makers, professionals, and researchers.  Despite their differences, they raised many of the same issues: especially the question of how —  as parents, educators, and providers — they can provide young people with an image of healthy sexual and emotional development, when so many forces work in the opposite direction.  One theme that kept coming back was the importance of giving more attention and support to the emotional and relational development of boys and young men than we typically do in our scholarship, healthcare, and popular culture (see also earlier post on the “hearts of boys.”)

The Contraception Controversies

Over the past few weeks, we have seen some fascinating, public conversations about contraception, sparked by the inclusion of contraception coverage in healthcare reform, and the opposition of the Catholic Bishops.  One of the most interesting articles to cover the topic in my opinion was in last week’s New York Times: “Obama Shift on Contraception Splits Critics,” which highlights the divisions over contraception within the Catholic church, even among some of the most devout.  In an interview I did today with New England Public Radio, I point out that it is important to keep in mind that it is really only a very small proportion of the US population for whom access to contraception is controversial.

Permit It, Hug It Close, Control It

That is how Simon Kuper, columnist for the Financial Times characterizes the Dutch approach to sex and drugs.  His is the first European column to review my book, Not Under My Roof.  Kuper, who is British, spent part of his adolescence in the Netherlands, where coincidentally he lived across the street from my home when I was teenager.  This insider-outsider perspective make him particularly well situated to grasp cultural differences.  He explains how the Dutch approach is far from “permissive” as it is often viewed across the Atlantic.  Don’t miss this incisive commentary, sweetened by a good dose of humor.

Live Chat on

On Thursday, I’m doing a live-chat on from 3-4. The live-chat follows the publication of an article on my book, “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex” in the Boston Globe and on  This format allows readers to post questions and read the answers I give in real-time.  It should be an interesting discussion.


Amy Schalet is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Read More...