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Girls’ Sexualities and the Media


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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7 Just Say Me? (Mis)representing Female Adolescent Sexual Agency on The Secret Life of the American Teenager


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Just Say Me? (Mis)representing Female Adolescent Sexual Agency on The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Elena Frank

In recent years a large pool of popular literature that examines the sexualization of adolescent girls has emerged. Books such as Girls Gone Skank (2008), So Sexy So Soon (2008), and Oral Sex is the New Good Night Kiss (2009) seek to expose the many ways that present-day U.S. culture, particularly the media, sexually exploits young women and girls. All of these books are meant to serve as a wake-up call to naïve parents—to demonstrate that even “good” girls may participate in a variety of age-inappropriate or illicit sexual activities. Ultimately, all of these books demonize what they consider to be the eroticization of childhood, leaving no space for considering the existence of forms of healthy sexuality or sexual agency for young adolescent women.

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