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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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15 “We’re All Straight Here”: Using Girls’ Groups and Critical Media Literacy to Explore Identity with Middle School Girls

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“We’re All Straight Here”: Using Girls’ Groups and Critical Media Literacy to Explore Identity with Middle School Girls

Amy Rutstein-Riley, Jenn Walker, Alice Diamond, Bonnie Bryant, and Marie LaFlamme1

Girlhood, Identity, and Girl Culture, a girls’ studies course with an imbedded focus on body image, media literacy, and identity development is researching what happens when twenty college women and twenty-five urban middle school girls engage in weekly girls’ groups to examine and discuss girlhood and critical media literacy. Entering our fourth year of the Girlhood Project, urban youth come to Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts to participate in a seven-week girls’ group as part of a service-learning course, where college students develop, implement, and facilitate girls’ groups for middle school girls. Using principles of feminist pedagogy and feminist group process, college students engage with the youth to build relationships that collaboratively examine the meanings and experience of being a girl in a culture where numerous social institutions, including the media, bombard girls with messages about how they should be, act, look, and feel about themselves.

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