Puberty, Sexuality and the Self considers the effects of puberty and teenage sexuality on adolescents. By analyzing interviews with 55 teenagers, Karin Martin finds that girls' self-esteem drops significantly more than boys' does at adolescence. While this finding is supported by previous studies, Martin picks up where these earlier studies leave off by focusing on girls' development and considering different experiences of puberty and sex as an explanation for girls' greater drop in self-esteem.
Puberty, Sexuality and the Self examines voice change, breast development, shaving, expectations of sex, the decision to have sex, experiences of sex and how boys and girls manage their emotions and selves throughout all of these new experiences. Comparing boys and girls at adolescence, Martin takes a qualitative look at puberty and sexuality, supporting her theory in the words of the adolescents themselves.