Sexualization Of Girlhood Essay

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Girlhood is the period of a young girl’s life where she gets to decide what she likes, what she doesn’t like, and who she wants to be. This time is crucial because these decisions, whether progressive or regressive, will help her develop into to a teenager, and then a young woman. But girlhood is being heavily influenced by society’s popular culture, and this influence can prove to be positive or negative for young girls’ futures, as well as the spectating society. Perhaps the biggest and most negative influence on girlhood is the concept of sexualization. This concept can be applied to many aspects of girlhood, but merchandizing and consumerism will be discussed in this paper. Young girls can also be influenced by the media, such as television shows and movies, but there is positive influence woven into the characters and scenes of…show more content…
Society and popular culture influence how a girl can experience girlhood by presenting expectations and constructing ideas. The biggest issue of girlhood is sexualization. This differs from the concept of the sexual, referring to expressions of sex and practices of intimacy (Kehily, 2012). Sexualization can be defined as “processes that make the sexual visual, commonly involving forms of objectification viewing individuals solely in terms of their value as sex objects for the pleasure of others” (Kehily, 2012, p.256). This concept does not appear because this is what young girls want to see, but it is what they are being constructed to see from adults; in other words, sexualization of young girls is an adult construction (Kehily, 2012). But from a feminist perspective, it is debated whether the source of this sexualization stems from “new femininities” in gender relations, or the social change created by the increased sexualization of culture (Kehily,
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