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The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization…

The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can… (2008)

by M. Gigi Durham

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This book is interesting at times, but it seems to be geared more toward parents , educators, and social work practitioners than general readers. There are a great deal of hints and suggestions for advice, learning activities, and therapy which are of no use and very little interest to individuals who do not belong to one of the foregoing groups. ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | Jul 12, 2013 |
Though I was aware of a lot of what Durham writes about in the book, it was a great reminder of the importance of talking with young people very early on about the media and how it portrays women and girls. Media literacy is so important--now more than ever. As a reader who does not yet have children, it motivated me to not only go back to this when I do have children, but also to make sure to have these conversations with the young people I already have in my life.

Though most of what Durham discusses focuses on young women, I appreciated that she mentions several times that it is just as important to talk about these things with young men and boys as well. Great book for parents, educators and anyone who works with young people. ( )
  Firecrackerscribe | Apr 2, 2013 |
This book covers a wide trange of topics, including the gils gone wild culture, the sexualisation of very young girls and the social problems it all leads to. The author is supportive of girls having the space and freedom to develop their own sexuality, rather than having an idealised sexuality imposed on them by the media. The book demonstrates its case well, and provides a number of ways for trusted adults to open up these conversations with girls, but in the end the book just didn't set me on fire--it's good, but it's not great. ( )
  Placebogirl | Mar 29, 2010 |
An interesting look at the sexualization of young women and girls in today's society. This book is sort of like a mix between Female Chauvinist Pigs Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture and The Beauty Myth How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women with a little bit of The Body Project An Intimate History of American Girls thrown in.

The book tackles 5 myths brought about by Lolita culture - hotness is ideal, the perfect body and how it is unattainable, looking young is the only acceptable way to look, violence and sex are intertwined and the male gaze. Durham tackles how these myths disempower women, even though they are usually hidden in a rhetoric of empowerment. However, she keeps a progressive and realistic view of male and female sexuality in focus. She also writes about how the Lolita Effect disempowers (by virtually or completely ignoring) differently-abled people, homosexuals, people of color and people who generally don't conform to the young, white, blond and thin "ideal."

The one thing I dislike about books like this is the idea that "girls are having sex so young" or "girls are dressing in miniskirts so young" as if women and girls haven't suffered from problems of sexualization in middle school for a long time, or as if we haven't felt pressure to flaunt our bodies until recently. I know that it was a problem when I was a child, and I'm sure it was a problem in my parent's generation, and I'd be surprised if it weren't a problem in my grandparent's generation. I guess the only big thing that's changed since the start of the 20th century is how pervasive mass marketing has become, and the impact of media on children. But I would hardly call the Lolita Effect a new problem.

Definitely a good book and I'd recommend it to anybody with a daughter, as Durham does offer some good talking points to bringing up the issues of Lolita culture with girls and young women to allow them to bring a more critical eye to their media interactions. ( )
2 vote lemontwist | Jan 3, 2010 |
An interesting look at media and how it has contributed to girls' self image, particulary with regard to their sexuality. Discusses 5 myths of girls and sex and offers ways to combat them. Found a lot of repetition in the later chapters; also the suthor did not really present a concrete plan to eradicate these images. ( )
  ShellyPYA | Jul 7, 2008 |
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In this expos of how young girls are sexualized in today's media, the author uses examples from popular TV shows, magazines, movies, and Web sites to show for the first time all the ways in which sexuality is defined in media--often in ways detrimental to girls' healthy development--as well as effective and progressive strategies for resisting the violations and repressions that render girls sexually subordinate.… (more)

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