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Sociology Department Seminar-Girls, Sexuality and the Strange Carnalities of Advertisements

Date: 19 June 2007 Time: 16.15-18.00

Venue: Institute For Advanced Studies, Meeting Room 1

Girls, Sexuality and the Strange Carnalities of Advertisements:Deconstructing the Discourse of Sexualisation

Dr. Danielle Egan Dr. Gail Hawkes

Gender Studies, St. Lawrence University School of Social Sciences, University of New England

In this seminar, we deconstruct the epistemological frameworksunderlying recent discussions on the sexualisation of girls. Conducting a close textual analysis of two reports written for theAustralia Institute, Corporate Paedophilia and Letting Children beChildren, we argue that the assumptions put forward rely upon 19thcentury discourses of childhood innocence and the pathological natureof sex in the life of the child. We contend that the policies proposedto address the sexualisation of girls, which have protection as theirgoal, actually disempower girls by tethering their sexuality to theideal of innocence. In contrast, we offer suggestions for futureresearch that take girls seriously as social actors and sexual beings.Such a reframing, we believe, may help foster a sex positive culturefor girls, as sexual citizens, as well as provide them with ananalytic framework to critically engage with our contemporary medialandscape.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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