Prostitution: An Extreme Form of Girls’ Sexualization

Zurbriggen, E. L., & Roberts, T.-A. (Eds.). (2013). The sexualization of girls and girlhood: Causes, consequences, and resistance. Oxford University Press.


For the past several years, child advocates, parents, and educators have expressed concern over the sexualization of girls. Has the cultural sexual objectification of girls and women increased? Are younger and younger girls sold a “sexed-up” version of femininity, and are adult women sold a girlish sexuality? The Sexualization of Girls and Girlhood: Causes, Consequences, and Resistance includes the best empirical research, theory, and practice stemming from the report of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. Contributors discuss evidence for this phenomenon from media and marketing, to interpersonal interaction, to girls’ own efforts to fashion themselves after sexualized role models around them. A variety of consequences of the sexualization of girls and girlhood—for girls themselves, for others, and for society at large—are presented. Individual chapters cover topics such as athletics as a solution and problem for the sexualization of girls, sexual harassment by peers, gendered violence, body image, adolescent girls’ sexual development, and healthy sexuality for girls and young women. Importantly, positive alternatives and suggestions are included so that those who care for girls can address this troubling cultural trend and help counter the significant risk to girls’ well-being that it represents. This volume is a valuable resource for child advocates, parents, and educators and useful for undergraduate and graduate courses that address gender across disciplines such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, communication, media studies, and women’s and sexuality studies.


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