Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Ngaire Donaghue
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_418


Since around the turn of the twenty-first century, Western cultures have featured increasingly explicit references to sex and sexuality across a range of media and popular culture, often termed sexualization. Many of the images now common in Western media feature tropes from pornography, leading this cultural shift to be labelled by some as “porno chic” (McNair, 2002) or “raunch culture” (Levy, 2005). Current debates around sexualization concern the extent to which these changes can be understood as a form of liberation (especially for women) from the oppressive regulation of respectable sexuality versus the charge that these representations fail to address the underlying sexism in these cultures and thus simply provide new forms for the regulation and disciplining of (especially women’s) sexuality.


Sexualization includes both the representational practices of the media and the material practices of women and men in their own lives. Sexualization of culture...

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Online Resources

  1. American Psychological Association, Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. (2007). Report of the APA task force on the sexualization of girls. Retrieved from, http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report-full.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia