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Representin' in cyberspace: Sexual scripts, self-definition, and hip hop culture in Black American adolescent girls' home pages

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Despite the importance of media in the lives of girls, sexuality researchers have largely overlooked how Black American adolescent girls engage with media to construct sexual self-definitions and explore their emerging sexuality. This study investigated sexual scripts, self-definition, and hip hop culture in internet home pages constructed by Black girls aged 14-17 years residing in southern states in the USA. Although some girls in the sample constructed sexual self-representations that mirrored sexual scripts portrayed in the media, hip hop, and youth cyberculture, others resisted stereotypical representations of Black female sexuality. This paper discusses the dominant sexual scripts that emerged from in-depth analysis of 27 home pages constructed by girls residing in Georgia. The focus is on 'Freaks', 'Virgins', 'Down-Ass Chicks/Bitches', 'Pimpettes', and Resisters. Findings suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach to sexuality education may fail to address key contextual issues of relevance to girls and young women. Innovative sexuality and media education strategies that respond to the significance of media in the lives of Black American girls and young women are needed.
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Keywords: Black girls; hip hop; internet; sexual scripts

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan,

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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