Abstract

Over the past two decades, there has been growing concern among researchers, clinicians, and policy makers regarding the sexualization of female adolescents in the media. Developmental psychologists and researchers argue that adolescents are particularly vulnerable to messages presented in the media, as these messages are internalized as real. These messages afflict long-term emotional and physical effects on adolescent girls. Through content analysis and extensive research, The American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force (2010) argued that the sexualization of adolescent girls and women directly effects the psychosocial development of young women, creating self-objectification, negative self-images, anxiety, shame, depression, eating disorders, and other psychosocial issue. The present study explores the content of Seventeen magazine in the year 2011 to determine if the featured articles have changed in response to previous studies that discuss the problematic nature of the sexualization of women in adolescent focused media and argues for an increase in feminist content within adolescent based media. Through an extensive literature review, I explore the impact and internalization of media's over-sexualization of women and adolescent girls, as well as how exposure to such message can lead to self-dissatisfaction among adolescent girls. This study uses a feminist textual analysis to examine all featured articles from 2011. Findings show a higher percentage of anti-feminist messages than feminist messages present within Seventeen magazine, with 60.5% of the total articles analyzed focusing on the importance of appearance. The overall impact of this study is significant because it addresses the current epidemic of the sexualization of women and how this phenomenon negatively affects adolescent girls. This study serves as an extension of the content analyses conducted by Peirce (1990) and Schlenker et al. (1998).

Advisor

Shannon Miller

First Committee Member

Maria Bevacqua

Second Committee Member

Rosemary Krawzcyk

Date of Degree

2012

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Gender and Women's Studies

College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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