Waterman, E. A., & Lefkowitz, E. S. (2018). Sexuality. In Bornstein, M. (Ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development (pp. 1984-1988). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.
About three years ago I was invited to write a couple of chapters for this encyclopedia. Two of my students expressed interest in taking the lead on the entries, so we went ahead with them. Although I’ve written book chapters before, this may have been my first experience with encyclopedia entries. They were fun to (co-)write in that they were less technical and more summarizing than the average journal article or chapter. I think that encyclopedia entries could be a good opportunity for a student, particularly a student around the time of comprehensive exams. They require you to be relatively comprehensive with an area of literature, but also to be able to write about it in a clear, straightforward, succinct way.
One strange component (in stark contrast to comprehensive exams) was that we were not allowed to include citations. After a career of carefully citing every point and teaching students to do the same, it was strange not to do so in the entries. We had a further reading section, but no references for specific points. Another challenge was to write only 9 pages of text on all of sexuality across the lifespan for one entry. I think Emily did an excellent job with this entry. She covered childhood through later adulthood, and touched on a number of important topics in the process.
The other chapter was 6 pages, but on such a specific topic, erectile dysfunction, that it was relatively easy for Chelom to cover the relevant material. It serves a very different purpose than the overarching sexuality one, but could serve as a good resource for people looking for a summary of what is known on this topic.
We enjoyed writing both of these chapters. My only regret is that I just saw the huge price tag on the encyclopedia. I hope that some people will have access to the chapters through their university libraries, because I can’t imagine any individuals being able to afford the full set.
“Our Entries in the Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development first appeared on Eva Lefkowitz’s blog on August 7, 2018.”