Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus
' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls
, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report
just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University
as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 28, 2014 -
"The world of entertainment still, all too often, values women only as objects of beauty to be placed on screen and ogled. [...] [T]he world is full of other women who have profound, intelligent, often hilarious things to say, and Dunham is very quietly making a space for those voices on TV, in a way that’s revolutionary both in terms of the show’s gender politics and in terms of its presentation.
- AVClub critic TodVanDerWerff on "how [the HBO show] Girls challenges the masculine expectations of 'good TV.'" [more inside]
posted by coraline
on Jun 20, 2012 -
How to Talk to Little Girls.
"Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It's surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I'm stubborn."
posted by John Cohen
on Jun 28, 2011 -
Neuroscientist Lise Eliot finds that claims of sex differences fall apart.
In one study, scientists dressed newborns in gender-neutral clothes and misled adults about their sex. The adults described the "boys" (actually girls) as angry or distressed more often than did adults who thought they were observing girls, and described the "girls" (actually boys) as happy and socially engaged more than adults who knew the babies were boys. Dozens of such disguised-gender experiments have shown that adults perceive baby boys and girls differently, seeing identical behavior through a gender-tinted lens. [more inside]
posted by cashman
on Sep 3, 2009 -
Schools conspire against boys: educator
I really don't know what to make of this. Nobody complained that schools were "anti-boy" before girls started to do better and outpace male enrollment in college. Boys were always the ones getting in trouble when I was a student too.
posted by Salmonberry
on Jun 29, 2002 -