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Catholic Sexual Theology and Adolescent Girls

Embodied Flourishing

By Doris M. Kieser
Subjects Religion, Social Science, Women’s Studies, Child Studies
Series Studies in Women and Religion Hide Details
Paperback : 9781771121248, 221 pages, May 2015
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781771120807, 221 pages, June 2015
Ebook (PDF) : 9781771120791, 221 pages, June 2015

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Catholic Sexual Theology and Adolescent Girls: Embodied Flourishing by Doris M. Kieser
Chapter 1 What's a Girl to Do? An Introduction
Chapter 2 Natural Law in the Roman Catholic Theological Tradition
Chapter 3 Feminist Natural Law
Chapter 4 Females, Sexuality, and Gender: Theological Anthropology
Chapter 5 Adolescent Females in a Contemporary Context: Sex, Gender, and Development
Chapter 6 Adolescent Females in a Contemporary Context: Physical/Biological Development
Chapter 7 This One's for the Girls: Adolescent Females and Flourishing
Chapter 8 Girls and God: Adolescent Females and a Sexual Theology of Flourishing


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.


  • Winner, CHOICE Magazine Community College Recommendation 2015


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.

- Christine McCarthy, Horizons: The Journal of the College Theology Society