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The Age of Youth in ArgentinaCulture, Politics, and Sexuality from Peron to Videla$
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Valeria Manzano

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469611617

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469611617.001.0001

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She’s Leaving Home

She’s Leaving Home

Young Women, Gender, and Sexuality

(p.97) She’s Leaving Home
The Age of Youth in Argentina

Valeria Manzano

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the changes in gender ideals and sexual mores that young women came to embody. Their increased participation in the workforce and the educational system, and their sociability devoid of adult supervision, were culturally perceived as ways of “leaving home.” Young women questioned on a practical basis deeply rooted notions of patriarchal authority and domesticity, generating familial dilemmas that sometimes led to girls’ running away from their homes. Using the prism of what sociologists call moral panic, the chapter focuses on an apparent tide of runaway girls in 1963 to discuss the relations among cultural modernization, gender, and sexuality. It shows that young women stood at the center of the most significant change in Argentina’s sexual culture in the 1960s—the public acceptance of premarital sex—which further involved destabilizing domestic ideals based on a double sexual standard, yet that innovation was neither linear nor exempt from the conflict that characterized cultural modernization.

Keywords:   Argentina, sexuality, gender, premarital sex, runaway girls, female youths, moral panic, cultural modernization

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