Pleasures and Perils follows a group of young girls living on
Nevis, an island society in the Eastern Caribbean. In this
provocative ethnography, Debra Curtis examines their sexuality in
gripping detail: why do Nevisian girls engage in sexual activity at
such young ages? Where is the line between coercion and consent?
How does a desire for wealth affect a girl's sexual practices?
Curtis shows that girls are often caught between conflicting
discourses of Christian teachings about chastity, public health
cautions about safe sex, and media enticements about consumer
delights. Sexuality's contradictions are exposed: power and
powerlessness, self-determination and cultural control, violence
and pleasure. Pleasures and Perils illuminates the methodological
and ethical issues anthropologists face when they conduct research
on sex, especially among girls. The sexually explicit narratives
conveyed in this book challenge not only the reader's own thoughts
on sexuality but also the broader limits and possibilities of
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