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Are You Sexy, Flirty, Or A Slut? Exploring ‘Sexualization’ and How Teen Girls Perform/Negotiate Digital Sexual Identity on Social Networking Sites

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Abstract

In February 2010 The UK Home Office released a high-profile report, ‘The Sexualisation of Young People’. The UK report came rather late in the international context, following on from earlier reports, including the American Psychological Association Taskforce report on the sexualization of girls (APA, 2007), and the Australian government-led research on the sexualization of children, which generated widespread debate over ‘corporate paedophilia’ (Rush and La Nauze, 2006).
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... Before the advent of social networking sites (SNSs), the traditional mass media (e.g., TV commercials and programs, magazines, etc.) consumed in Western societies were the most pervasive and powerful influence [11,12], exerting negative effects on body image [13][14][15][16][17][18]. Currently, SNSs and specially appearance-based SNSs (i.e., those involving appearance-oriented activities such as the posting and viewing of photos) are recognized as problematic in terms of body image and eating behaviors [19][20][21], given the importance assigned to physical appearance [22,23]; SNSs users selectively self-present their-and are presented with-most attractive and idealized body photos [24][25][26]. ...
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... All women characters in our corpus further the sociosexual script of women as sexual gatekeepers, and therefore, as responsible for any deviation from sociosexual norms (e.g., being too sexual or not sexual enough are both socially punished, and the stigma is greater when women do not show sexual agency or selfcontrol; Bay-Cheng, 2015;Comunello, Parisi, and Ieracitano, 2020;Ringrose, 2011;Wiederman, 2005). Gender differences in sexual inexperience and virginity loss trajectories reflect both Carpenter's research (Carpenter, 2002(Carpenter, , 2009(Carpenter, , 2010, in which women were more likely to describe themselves as lacking agency in their experiences of virginity loss, and sexual scripts prescribing women to "save themselves" sexually (Carpenter, 2010, p. 160). ...
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