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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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14 From Media Propaganda to De-Stigmatizing Sex: Exploring a Teen Magazine By, For, and About Girls


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From Media Propaganda to De-Stigmatizing Sex: Exploring a Teen Magazine By, For, and About Girls

Linda Charmaraman and Brittany Low

The sexualization of adolescent girls in television, movies, magazines, music videos and lyrics, the internet, and advertising is widespread. At a time when adolescent girls feel more self-conscious about their developing bodies, media images of perfection almost exclusively feature achieving a physically thin ideal to become popular with peers. Several research studies have linked the hypersexualization of girls to mental health problems like depression, eating disorders, and low self-esteem.1 Self-objectification has been associated with lack of sexual assertiveness and decreased condom use among adolescent girls.2 Frequent exposure to sexualized media affects how girls view femininity and sexuality, leading them to endorse stereotypes of females as sexual objects and to value physical attractiveness over all other characteristics.3

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