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Girls’ Sexualities and the Media

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Edited By Kate Harper, Yasmina Katsulis, Vera Lopez and Georganne Scheiner Gillis

This anthology provides exciting, innovative research focused on the construction of adolescent girls’ sexuality in the media. The volume includes a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives from the humanities and the social sciences, addressing how girls and others respond to, work with, and even resist prevailing media representations of girls’ sexualities and how they use contemporary media as a form of sexual expression.
The authors consider a wide array of sexual attitudes, behaviors, and expressions not commonly seen in the sexualities literature, including the voices of «other» girls whose voices are often ignored, particularly racial/ethnic minority and indigenous girls, sexual minorities, and girls from non-U.S. settings. The use of ethnographic data, in conjunction with media analysis techniques, provides a unique approach to the media studies genre, which tends to highlight an analysis of media content, as opposed to the ways in which media is used in everyday life.

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Foreword (Catherine Driscoll)

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Foreword Catherine Driscoll Throughout her childhood, the little girl was bullied and mutilated; but she nonetheless grasped herself as an autonomous individual; in her relations with her family and friends, in her studies and games, she saw herself in the present as a transcendence: her future passivity was something she only imagined. Once she enters puberty, the future not only moves closer: it settles into her body; it becomes the most concrete reality. It retains the fateful quality it al- ways had; while the adolescent boy is actively routed towards adulthood, the girl looks forward to the opening of this new and unforseeable period where the plot is already hatched and towards which time is drawing her. As she is al- ready detached from her childhood past, the present is for her only a transi- tion; she sees no valid ends in it, only occupations. In a more or less disguised way, her youth is consumed by waiting. She is waiting for Man. —Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir’s justly famous and influential feminist text, The Second Sex, first published in 1949, moves from the subject of “childhood” to that of “girlhood” with the passage cited above. A great deal has clearly changed for girls in the industrialized societies that Beauvoir is accounting for in this text. It is now generally presumed that girls will move from “childhood” into “girlhood” with expectations of social independence. At the very least they expect to, and are expected to, articulate...

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