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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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12 Heteroflexibility: Female Performance and Pleasure

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12

Heteroflexibility: Female Performance and Pleasure

Jennifer Apple

In 2003, Madonna performed at the annual MTV Video Music Awards. Sporting a revealing tux with tails and donning a top hat at a jaunty angle, she played the role of the experienced groom to her two blushing brides: Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. At the end of a flirty rendition of “Like a Virgin,” Madonna played the role of the groom to its predictable conclusion, bestowing a slow kiss on each pop princess bride. The on-air kisses propelled media frenzy, but the image of heterosexual identified women enacting a more fluid (and generally public) sexuality has become increasingly common. Featured in popular episodes of hit television series such as Sex and the City, The OC, Desperate Housewives, and Gossip Girl expressions of female same-sex exploration have given rise to the coining of a new term—heteroflexibility.

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