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Peggy Orenstein. New York: Harper Collins. It is one that renders them tech savvy and privy to a sex-saturated visual economy while simultaneously denying them the right to sexual safety, equality, and pleasure. One-on-one interviews were conducted with over 70 young women between the ages of 15 and Reading it alongside scholarly studies by researchers such as Deborah Tolman, R.
But, by academic standards, the book is problematic, particularly in terms of the lack of specifics about the questions asked and how the answers are analyzed. Throughout the course of the seven chapters, these obstacles are identified as pornography, the lack of quality sex-education, self-objectification, patriarchal purity myths, binge-drinking, the hook-up culture, and an epidemic of sexual assault in universities and high schools. They speak candidly about their negative sexual experiences. Erin, a high school senior discusses her disgust at her own body.
However, much of what the girls disclose is heart-wrenching and shocking. As the question suggests, Orenstein appeals to parents who are worrying about their daughters and sex. And it is parents to whom this book is aimed. From the outset, Orenstein includes this assumed parent-reader as an ally in her own concerns for her growing daughter and, throughout the text, positions herself firmly as a mother trying to overcome her own discomfort about the future sex life of those she thinks of as our girls. We are also left to assume that, rather like most of the girls she interviews, these are mostly white middle-class parents who, like Orenstein, cringe at the idea of talking to their kids about Women want sex Egan and who need encouragement from a familiar but much more informed parent.
The book is founded on a surprisingly postfeminist thesis that holds that girls and women have made it everywhere except in their sexual lives. Scholars including Deborah Tolman have long linked the suppression of female sexuality to the wider patriarchal oppression of women.
By ignoring these connections, Orenstein fails to recognize the ways in which sexuality is intertwined with other aspects of life and fails to address the ways in which an experience of sexual pleasure or autonomy or its lack is entangled with structures of power. While there is mention that the sampling net was cast broadly, race, class, and bodily ability are removed entirely from all analysis.
As Lamb argues, this construction of White girls as vulnerable to victimization and black girls as sexually agentic and invulnerable means that pleasure, desire, and constitutions of healthy sexuality work very differently depending on these intersections of identity.
What if these parents were encouraged to engage with their daughters in critical thinking about the very discourses on which Orenstein draws?
Perhaps then the conversation might be forced to move on from the adult fascination with protecting the sexualized girl-object and we might see how girls themselves navigate their own way through the ever-changing landscape of sex. LambSharon. McClellandSara I. OrensteinPeggy. New York. TolmanDeborah L. E-mail: hanna. Advanced Search Help. Author: Hanna Retallack 1. Free access. Citation Alert Get Permissions. Download PDF. Crossref LambSharon. Crossref McClellandSara I. Crossref TolmanDeborah L. View Table. The link was not copied.
Your current browser may not support copying via this button. Girlhood Studies An Interdisciplinary Journal. Volume Issue 2.
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