BOOK_Not-Under-My-RoofNot Under My Roof: Parents, Teens and the Culture of Sex

For American parents, teenage sex is something to be feared and forbidden, and sex is often a source of family conflict. In the Netherlands, where teenage pregnancies are far less frequent than in the United States, parents aim above all for family cohesiveness, often permitting older teenage couples to sleep together and providing them with contraceptives. Probing our child-rearing for what it tells us about our culture, Not Under My Roof offers an unprecedented, intimate account of the ways girls and boys in both countries negotiate sex, love, and growing up.


Praise for Not Under My Roof

Carefully researched, wicked smart, and filled with the voices of parents and teenagers, this is one of the best books on sexuality and culture in years.

—Joshua Gamson, PhD, University of San Francisco


Has the power to transform adolescent and adult sexuality and family relations.

—John Santelli, MD, Columbia University


Offers American parents a new, hopeful—if at times unsettling—sense of how we might better love, respect, and care for our children.

—Ann Swidler, PhD, University of California at Berkeley


It is my sincere hope that every parent will read this book.  As the parent of a 23 and 17-year-old, I am humbled by how very much I had to learn. From the first time I heard Amy speak, I was forever changed as a parent. Thank you Amy!

—Lynn B. Barclay, Parent & President, American Social Health Association

One of the most helpful and insightful books that I’ve read on adolescents in America. I highly recommend it to any parent educator or parent of teens who is debating how to engage teenagers around the topics of sex, drug and alcohol use, and curfews. A very important and timely book.

Joshua Coleman, PhD, Author and Psychologist


[Not Under My Roof] starts in the adolescent bedroom, and ends up explaining why the US is so conservative on social issues and the Netherlands so liberal.

Financial Times


This is a thorough and intriguing look at how attitudes about sexuality have developed in each country since the 1970s….  Schalet has juxtaposed US and Dutch cultural histories, family values, and societal attitudes about such seemingly diverse issues as sexuality, immigration, and the intersection of individual autonomy and state sovereignty to produce a fascinating look into the origins and consequences of two diametrically opposed paradigms of adolescent sexuality. . . . Highly recommended.



Amy Schalet’s book compares the sexual attitudes of American and Dutch parents and her findings are nothing short of staggering: Whereas most American parents panic about the idea of allowing their kids to have sex with other kids under their roof, for many Dutch parents, it’s not only fine — it’s responsible parenting. . . . Schalet’s extensively researched, fascinating work . . . is a startling wake-up call about America’s largely misguided attitudes toward sex and growing up.



It’s courageous of Amy Schalet … to offer up her fascinating and wise new book, “Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex.” Based on a blending of meticulous scholarly research and extensive interviews with both Dutch and American parents and teenagers … Schalet’s book … amounts to a ringing rationale for the sexual autonomy of adolescents.

Gay City News


For scholars looking to use this book in the classroom, Schalet’s writing style is clear and engaging, and she has written this book with both academics and the wider public in mind. This book is particularly ideal for encouraging introductory students to “think difference differently,” as gender scholars are apt to say.

Berkeley Sociology of Gender


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