Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS)

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2002


Judith Levine jokingly says that at least she's in good company: Margaret Sanger, Alfred Kinsey, and Jocelyn Elders all were vilified for allegedly promoting sex between adults and children (though of course none of them did any such thing). Levine, a journalist and founder of the National Writers Union, has been vilified and worse because of her new book, Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex (University of Minnesota Press). In it, she argues that sex is not inherently harmful to teenagers, but can be healthy and empowering. Furthermore, she claims that society's responses to fears of young people's sexuality—such as abstinence campaigns and prosecutions of statutory rape—are not only pointless, but can be detrimental to the very children they claim to protect.


This article was originally published in CLAGSNews, vol. 12, no. 2.



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