, Volume 61, Issue 3-4, pp 288-289
Date: 09 Jun 2009

Researching Media Sexualization

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This book is part of a growing series of popular publications on the theme of sexualization. The most celebrated of these is Ariel Levy’s (2005) Female Chauvinist Pigs, but others include Pamela Paul’s Pornified (2005), Carol Platt Liebaus’ (2007) Prude, and Meenakshi Gigi Durham’s (2008) The Lolita Effect. These have coincided with the publication of the American Psychological Association's report on the sexualization of girls (2007), marking this out as an area of growing concern for a range of public commentators.

What is sexualization? This has been a subject of some debate for academics (see Attwood 2006). At its broadest, the term has been used to indicate the contemporary preoccupation with sexual values, practices and identities; a public shift to apparently more permissive sexual attitudes; the proliferation of sexual media; the emergence of new forms of sexual experience; a concern with the breakdown of consensus about regulations for defining and dealing with obscenity; and t