Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

This book has benefi ted from the guidance and support of countless faculty, friends, and family. It is with gratitude that I acknowledge some of them here.
Back when my research interests were as vague as “ women, sexuality, and crime in the 20th...

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Introduction: What Are We Waiting For?

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pp. 1-17

In the year the United States finally declared war on Germany and Japan (1941), a seventeen-year-old girl named Annie told a Texas social worker why she had once again run away from her Ohio home. Having worked at taverns, hitchhiked with truck drivers...

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1. Victory Girls: Sex, Mobility, and Adventure on the Home Front

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pp. 18-51

“Annie” was “a plump countrified [white] girl of seventeen with a jolly smile and twinkling brown eyes,” wrote a San Antonio social worker. Annie first came to Texas after running away from Ohio, but juvenile authorities sent her home. Nine months later she returned...

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2. B-Girls: Soliciting Drinks and Negotiating Sex in Mid-Century Bars

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pp. 52-80

“One serviceman fleeced by a B-girl said it was like having teeth extracted by Novocain.” This is how San Francisco Examiner reporter Ernest Lenn described the experience of being “taken” by a “slick” San Francisco B-girl in January 1953. Posing as a visitor from New York...

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3. Tearing Off the Veil: Women and Girls Respond to the Kinsey Reports

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pp. 81-110

Amy Leonard sent this clever poem to Alfred Kinsey in October 1953, less than two months after the publication of his Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. In the envelope with the poem was a short letter, which read: “Dear Doctor Kinsey, Enclosed are some verses which...

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4. Going Steady: Permissiveness, Petting, and Premarital Sex in the 1950s

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pp. 111-142

In The Sexually Promiscuous Female, published in 1963 as part of Monarch Publishing’s Human Behavior Series, Dr. Benjamin Morse introduced Janice Garland, a white teen who reportedly solicited an undercover vice officer by offering to...

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5. Someone to Love: Teenage Girls, Queer Desire, and Contested Meanings of Immaturity in the 1950s

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pp. 143-173

In 1958, an eighteen-year-old African American teenage girl sat across from a young white female social worker in one of New York City’s public health clinics. The girl had agreed to be interviewed as part of a study on venereal disease among adolescents...

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Conclusion: Feminist Sexual Futures

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pp. 174-184

In this book, I’ve told stories about mid-twentieth-century girls and women whose sexual decision making inspired a range of responses: it raised eyebrows, aroused consternation, attracted curiosity, garnered sympathy, stimulated regulation, galvanized research...

Notes

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pp. 185-228

Bibliography

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pp. 229-250

Index

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pp. 251-259