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Amy Adele Hasinoff

Sexualization might seem like a sympathetic explanation for sexting because it positions girls as innocent victims of mass culture. However, there are problematic unintended consequences with understanding sexting, the practice of sharing personal sexual content via mobile phones or the internet, in this particular way. One troubling implication is that it provides a rationale for holding girls who sext criminally responsible for producing child pornography. A second is that when girls' acceptance of sexualization is positioned as a key social problem, the solution that emerges is that girls must raise their self-esteem and gain better media literacy skills. Despite the value of such skills, a focus on girls' deficiencies can divert attention from the perpetrators of gender- and sexuality-based violence. Finally, discourses about sexualization often erase girls' capacity for choice, relying instead on normative assumptions about healthy sexuality. Interrogating the pathologization of girls' apparent conformity to sexualization and mass culture highlights the complexity of agency.

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From Selfies to Sexting

Tween Girls, Intimacy, and Subjectivities

Antonio García-Gómez

et al. 2012 ; MacDonald 2016 ). In this light, I discuss the practice of tween girls’ sexting their male significant others or female friends. In doing so, I start from the claim that the attention media is paying to the legal and ethical

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Carrie A. Rentschler and Claudia Mitchell

Girlhood Studies scholars respond to an overwhelming portrayal of girls as either bad or needing rescue in, for example, mainstream films on mean girls, popular psychology texts on primarily light-skinned middle class girls’ plummeting self-esteem, and media panics about teen girl sexting. According to Sharon Mazzarella and Norma Pecora, “In response to public anxiety and cultural fascination,” in “academic studies of girls…the emphasis has shifted slightly so that the discourse is no longer linked primarily to crisis” (2007: 105). Still, in popular and policy discourse today, girls are often unfairly and inaccurately cast as either super agents or failing subjects.

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Thomas K. Hubbard

Adolescent sexuality has been at the forefront of the recent “Culture Wars,” as is clear from the many news stories and political battles over issues such as sex education, teen pregnancy and STDs, Child Sexual Abuse, enhanced legal regulation of sex offenders, pedophiles on the internet, “sexting” and child pornography. On the one hand adolescents today are more sexually mature than at most historical periods: physical puberty occurs ever earlier (Moller, 1987), while children’s capacity to access the same media as adults grows ever more sophisticated. Already in 1982, Neil Postman presciently observed that electronic media had obliterated the historical technological superiority of literate adults relative to not‐yet‐fully-literate children (Postman, 1982). At that point, he was thinking mainly of television, but his observation has become even more true in the digital age, when adolescents are often the ones teaching their parents and grandparents. 1982 had not yet grasped what would be the ubiquity of MTV or cheap, highly graphic visual pornography in many parents’ closets, or if not there, on their kids’ computer screens. Children have become the most clever at accessing media at precisely the time when popular media culture is more saturated with verbal, musical, and visual images of sexuality than ever before.

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Melanie Kennedy and Natalie Coulter

). Understandings come via conversations with girls about their sending of sexts (García-Gómez), from girl-made videos using the dolls of tween culture and disseminated on YouTube (Johnston), and from projects and blogs produced by girls at a technology camp

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Claudia Mitchell

. The exploration of how tweens construct their own digital identities that challenge the stereotypical media portrayals of girlhood and the investigation of the relationship for tween girls between sexting and sexual agency expand on crucial areas in

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Hanna Retallack

sexually active is “mortifying” (208). After inciting fear by describing the pervasiveness of binge drinking, casual hook-ups, sexting, and assault, Orenstein then quells her readers’ anxieties with thought-provoking albeit rather vague observations. Lines

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Dustin William Louie

vigilant for sexual predators ( Jones et al. 2012 ) or to become cognizant of the consequences of sexting. International campaigns in England and Australia aim to give sext education to students regarding the dangers and pitfalls of sending sexually

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Terms of Silence

Weaknesses in Corporate and Law Enforcement Responses to Cyberviolence against Girls

Suzanne Dunn, Julie S. Lalonde and Jane Bailey

You Do, Damned if You Don’t … if You’re a Girl: Relational and Normative Contexts of Adolescent Sexting in the United States .” Journal of Children and Media 8 ( 4 ): 371 – 386 . MacKay , A Wayne . 2012 . Respectful and Responsible

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Sharing Images, Spoiling Meanings?

Class, Gender, and Ethics in Visual Research with Girls

Janet Fink and Helen Lomax

Sexting’: Gendered Value in Digital Image Exchange .” Feminist Theory 14 , no. 3 : 305 – 323 . Rogaly , Ben , and Becky Taylor . 2011 . Moving Histories of Class and Community . Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan . Rossman , Gretchen , and