Piety, presumed displeasure and purity : a discourse analytical examination of the presentation of women’s sexuality in the ‘big three’

Bachechi, Kim and Hall, Matthew (2015) Piety, presumed displeasure and purity : a discourse analytical examination of the presentation of women’s sexuality in the ‘big three’. Journal of Gender Studies, 24 (5). pp. 549-560. ISSN 0958-9236

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The new millennium saw the emergence of two competing discourses in US pop culture on young women's sexuality: ‘girls gone wild’ and ‘new virgins.’ Feminists have seen these oppositional discourses – all women are either pressured to be either porn stars or chaste virgins – as being regressive and harmful, or have questioned how ‘empowering’ they really are. Levy's [Levy, A., 2006. Female chauvinist pigs. New York: Free Press] research identified the ‘girls gone wild’ discourse from auditions at the offices of Playboy, while Valenti's [Valenti, J., 2009.The purity myth. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press] research identified the ‘new virgins’ discourse at conservative religious youth group meetings. Despite their identification, we do not yet know if/how widespread these discourses are. Previous studies (Carpenter, L.M., 1998. From girls into women: scripts for sexuality and romance in seventeen magazine, 1974–1994. The journal of sex research, 35, 158–168; Durham, M.G., 1998. Dilemmas of desire: representations of adolescent sexuality in two teen magazines. Youth and society, 29, 369–390; Garner, A., Stark, H.M., Adams, S., 1998. Narrative analysis of sexual etiquette in teenage magazines. Journal of communication, 48, 59–78) have found examples similar to the ‘girls gone wild’ discourse in examinations of media specifically targeting younger generations. Although the findings are revealing, we cannot yet know whether this is mirrored in other print media with readerships spanning other generations, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, or whether the two contradictory discourses have any relation to each other. This paper aimed to contribute to this absence by presenting the findings of an analysis of articles from ‘the big three’ US newsweeklies (Journalism.org., 2005. 2005 Annual report: introduction. Available from: http://www.stateofthemedia.org/2005/narrative_magazines_newsinvestment.asp).

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Journal Article
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Journal of Gender Studies
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Gender Studies, 24 (5), 2015, © Informa Plc
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?? discourseanalysisfeminismnews magazinespop culturesexualitysocial sciences (miscellaneous)gender studies ??
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10 Nov 2014 14:11
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28 Nov 2023 11:20