Issues related to young women, power and sex are central to feminism and remain a central source of debate. This centrality underscores the need to question what power and sex mean to young women. Research that weaves together lessons from feminism and from young women's own lived experiences can advance our understanding of young women, power and sex. This article describes how a sample of young women define, understand and conceptualize their power within their heterosexual relationships. The young women's words provide insight into how current feminist understandings of girl power may need to be reconsidered and adapted to explain young women's changing realities.
Marion Doull and Christabelle Sethna
Possession as Rape in Young Adult Paranormal Romance
narrative focuses on the supernatural forces threatening the characters and the development of the heterosexual relationship. Like contemporary realism, the paranormal romance examines social issues, albeit through a metaphorical representation. Seifert and
Teen Girls Negotiating Discourses of Competitive, Heterosexualized Aggression
In this paper I explore the themes of heterosexualized competition and aggression in Avril Lavigne's music video Girlfriend (2007) as representative of the violent heterosexualized politics within which girls are incited to compete in contemporary schooling and popular culture. I argue that psycho-educational discourses attempting to explain girls' aggression and bullying fail to account for the heterosexualized, classed or racialized power dynamics of social competition that organize heteronormative femininity. Then I elaborate a psychosocial approach using psychoanalytic concepts to trace how teen girls negotiate contemporary discourses of sexual aggression and competition. Drawing on findings from a study with racially and economically marginalized girls aged thirteen to fourteen attending an innercity school in South Wales, I suggest that the girls enact regulatory, classed discourses like slut to manage performances of heterosexualized aggression. However, alongside their demonstration of the impetus toward sexual regulation of one another, I show how the girls in my study are also attempting to challenge heteronormative formations of performing sexy-aggressive. Moments of critical resistance in their narratives, when they refuse to pathologize aggressive girls as mean and/or bullies, and in their fantasies, when they reject heterosexual relationships like marriage are explored.
In the call for articles for this special issue on girls’ health, we highlighted that “[g]irls’ health is an ongoing and evolving issue with ties that go beyond medical analyses to include a wide array of social, educational, political, and environmental discourses (among others!).” Th at a number of different perspectives might contribute to or strengthen the interdisciplinary focus of an issue as crucial as girls’ health was important to me as guest editor. Th is issue demonstrates that the relationship of girlhood to health—sexual health, in particular—is of critical concern to us all. It is an area full of challenges and barriers, most of them, as is evident in this issue, understood and often expressed by girls themselves. The articles presented here point to the many perspectives from which to approach this topic. Girls’ sexual health is linked to an array of intersecting issues including the pedagogical influences of popular romance literature; the ways in which girls use blogs to construct counter narratives about their sexual identity; how girls’ increased inclusion in citizenship discourses can increase their capacity to address sexual objectification; what girls do to negotiate power within their heterosexual relationships; how barriers to water access in Africa can lead to the awareness of the risks—which range from being perceived to be promiscuous to being raped—that young women face; as well as how the (mis)management of menstruation can affect girls’ education. This issue points to the global and local specifics of sexual health, and to health more generally. Th e concerns discussed here are geographically wide-ranging: Cameroon, Lesotho, Australia, the United States, and Canada provide the settings—some urban and others rural. Th e authors present a wide range of methodologies from which they explore girls’ health: literary analysis; autoethnography; and participatory methods such as digital storytelling, mediamaking, listening to what young people have to say in various research paradigms, blogging, and photovoice.
Statutory Rape or Postfeminism in Pretty Little Liars?
of heterosexual relationships that radical feminists such as Charlotte Bunch (see Mann 2012 ) critiqued during the Second Wave of feminism. In this scenario, Aria gives up much of her freedom for Ezra's love that is culturally accepted and sanctioned
Marginalizing Queer Girls in YA Dystopian Literature
Miranda A. Green-Barteet and Jill Coste
heterosexual relationships. This emphasis implies that girlhood is universal. In casting strong, empowered girl protagonists as almost exclusively white, able-bodied, and heterosexual, dystopian YA reinforces the notion that all girls experience girlhood
Anne-Laure Amilhat Szary
,” a term that first appeared in a Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2016, means the matching of sex and gender identity; it gives a name to the dominant norm of our society and frames the path to heterosexual relationships. Gendering the region implies
to reliable contraception was redefining the nature of (at least) heterosexual relationships, race relations both in the UK and USA were poised between entrenched racism (e.g. Enoch Powell's infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech) and Martin Luther King
Male Migrants’ Attitudes to Homosexuality and What Age Has To Do with It
relationships with women, they do not share any prejudices regarding non-heterosexual persons. The main narrative is based on the acknowledgement of personal freedom and existence of culture and laws that in Germany equalize heterosexual and non-heterosexual
Super Hero Girls Together
Lucy I. Baker
characterization of those who populate the novels being central to her process, and to the creation of the books for DC. In these novels, while the characters ostensibly align with their original media heterosexual relationships—for example, the DCSHG Wonder Woman