chapter  4
Engendered Leisure
WithKenneth Roberts
Pages 12

This chapter explains how sexuality is constructed into a powerful force which divides boys and girls at leisure, patterns their interrelationships and commits them to broader gender divisions. It provides a ground-clearing exercise, dispensing with the misleading questions. The chapter suggests that young people are not at the forefront of any sexual revolution or movement to overhaul traditional gender decisions. It argues that, however desirable changes might be, they are unlikely to be instigated through young people’s leisure. Adolescent leisure is usually a scene where conventional gender identities plus sexual tastes and skills are reproduced, not rejected. The questions to answer are how and why this happens. Some of the evidence appears ambiguous until leisure effects and youth effects are disentangled. The economic and cultural independence spread by the growth of leisure enables young people to experiment and question some conventions.