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Scripts of Sexual Desire and Danger in US and Dutch Teen Girl Magazines: A Cross-National Content Analysis

Joshi, Suchi ; Peter, Jochen ; Valkenburg, Patti

Sex Roles, 2011, Vol.64(7), pp.463-474 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Scripts of Sexual Desire and Danger in US and Dutch Teen Girl Magazines: A Cross-National Content Analysis
  • Author/Creator: Joshi, Suchi ; Peter, Jochen ; Valkenburg, Patti
  • Language: English
  • Subjects: Adolescents ; Media ; Cultural differences ; Cross-national research ; Sexuality
  • Is Part Of: Sex Roles, 2011, Vol.64(7), pp.463-474
  • Description: The aim of this comparative quantitative content analysis was to investigate how US and Dutch teen girl magazines cover sexual desire (i.e., sexual wanting, and pleasure) and sexual danger (i.e., sexual risk, and negative physical/health consequences of sex). Relying on the sexual scripts framework and Hofstede’s cultural dimension of masculinity/femininity, we examined (a) how the coverage varied for boys and girls, (b) how it differed between the United States and the Netherlands, and (c) how gender differences varied by country. The sample comprised 627 sex-related feature stories from all 2006–2008 issues of three US (i.e., Seventeen , CosmoGirl! United States edition, and Teen ) and three Dutch teen girl magazines (i.e., Fancy , CosmoGirl! Netherlands edition, and Girlz! ). Overall, sexual wanting occurred more frequently in the US magazines than in the Dutch magazines. In the US coverage, boys’ sexual wanting received more attention than girls’ sexual wanting, whereas in the Dutch coverage sexual wanting was depicted equally often for boys and girls. The depiction of sexual pleasure did not vary by gender in either country, but was generally more visible in the Dutch magazines than in the US magazines. Sexual risks and the negative consequences of sex were associated with girls more than with boys, and were primarily depicted in the US magazines rather than in the Dutch magazines.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0360-0025 ; E-ISSN: 1573-2762 ; DOI: 10.1007/s11199-011-9941-4