Milnes, Kate (2004) What lies between romance and sexual equality? A narrative study of young women's sexual experiences. Sexualities, Evolution and Gender, 6 (2-3). pp. 151-170. ISSN 1479-2508

Changing attitudes towards female (hetero)sexuality throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are generally storied within Western societies as a move away from regulation and towards liberation. This narration of the (hi)story of female (hetero)sexuality is underpinned by a taken-for-granted assumption that in terms of sexual freedom, liberty and autonomy, these changes have been progressive and beneficial for women. The narrative study presented in this paper explores the ways in which a group of young women make sense of and narrate their unique sexual experiences and relationships. The implications of these findings are then discussed in terms of the options for negotiating sexual encounters that are made available or denied to young women by their appropriation of different narrative frameworks. This discussion raises questions about the degree to which young women in contemporary society can be considered to be sexually liberated.

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