Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 291–311 | Cite as

Endangered Girls and Incendiary Objects: Unpacking the Discourse on Sexualization

  • R. Danielle EganEmail author
  • Gail L. Hawkes
Original Paper


In this article, we deconstruct the epistemological framework underlying recent discussions on the sexualization of girls. Conducting a close textual analysis of scholarly and activist writings and their media coverage in Australia, Britain and the United States we examine the foundational assumptions of the argument against sexualization and explore its potential social and political implications. It is our contention that the conceptualization of sexualization as both a process and outcome relies on an ambivalent and overly deterministic model which makes the danger of sexualizing materials uniform, but their outcome gender specific. The unintended consequence of this discourse is that girls are framed as passive recipients and their sexuality becomes the result of and reduced to sexualization.


Sexualization Children Girls Sexuality Social class Popular culture Media 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Lawrence UniversityCantonUSA
  2. 2.University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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