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Religion Sexuality & Gender Studies

Catholic Sexual Theology and Adolescent Girls

Embodied Flourishing

by (author) Doris M. Kieser

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2015
Sexuality & Gender Studies, Women's Studies, Catholic
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2015
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2015
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This book explores the intersection in contemporary Western culture of Catholic sexual theology and adolescent female developmental and sexual experiences. The voices of adolescent females, so long silent in sexual theologies, are given privilege here in the articulation of a normative theology.

Applying a feminist natural law framework, the book engages both theoretical scholarship and practical evidence from psychological and other social sciences to inform sexual theology in the Catholic tradition. Attending to gendered, developmental, and social contexts, Doris Kieser explores adolescent females’ experiences of puberty, menarche, various sexual activities, communities of support, sexual desire, and the pleasure and danger these realities reap. She critically explores historical and traditional sexual theologies and prevailing social patriarchal and androcentric sexual attitudes through a feminist lens.

The author’s attention to the voices of girls and women, and her aim to see their sexual flourishing in particular and diverse social contexts, yields a theology mindful of the rich complexities of female sexual desire, pleasure, and well-being. The result is an integrated sexual theology that grapples with the Catholic theological tradition, feminist theory and theology, and the embodied experiences of females. For anyone who is invested in the lives and well-being of adolescent females, this work uncovers both barriers and boons to their sexual flourishing.

About the author

Doris M. Kieser is an assistant professor at St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta. She teaches ethics and theology in the areas of bioethics, sexuality, the body, and spirituality. She also maintains a counselling practice, working primarily with adolescent girls and women. Her work includes elements of both theology and psychology, particularly in connection with adolescent development, moral decision-making, and human/female flourishing.

Doris M. Kieser's profile page


  • Unknown, CHOICE Magazine Community College Recommendation

Editorial Reviews

"Doris Kieser offers refreshing insight into the intersection of Catholic sexual theology and the lived experience of female adolescents. Kieser’s work with teenagers addresses a notable lacuna in the Catholic Church’s sexual theology, … In her adolescent female sexual ethic, Kieser lays the necessary groundwork for what ought well prove to be a rich field for further theological ethical reflection. This text will prove to be an excellent resource in high school, seminary, and university courses.”

Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society