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Being Female: The Continuum of Sexualization

NCJ Number
Jennifer K. Wesely
Date Published
181 pages
This book examines how women and girls are devalued and objectified by the continuum of sexualization.
This book examines the particular ways that sexualization is systematically ingrained in girls growing up in the contemporary era, perpetuating limited identity meanings at best, and severe damage and destruction at worst. Chapter 1 discusses the definition and concept of continuum of sexualization. Chapter 2 focuses on gender socialization, examining points related to embodiment, "pornified sexualization," and media. Chapter 3 discusses the processes of sexualization and clarifies the array of experiences that can exist along the continuum, from sexualization that occurs as part of girls' day-to-day gender socialization and identity development, to sexual abuses and violence against women and girls. Chapter 4 explores the myriad effects the continuum of sexualization can have on women and girls by tracing the extensive personal and social consequences of the continuum. Chapter 5 investigates the pathways that have led to the victimization of girls and women using the case study populations of exotic dancers and homeless women. Chapter 6 suggests answers to the basic question of how society can stop failing girls and women, identifies key areas where society is unsuccessful at protecting girls from sexualization risks, and relates these areas to strategies to counteract the effects of sexualization. Chapter 7 examines ideological and social attitudes that perpetuate gender inequality, and proposes programs and services that can affect individual lives in a positive way. Appendix, bibliography, and index