Our “Ideal Girl”: Prescriptions of Female Adolescent Sexuality in a Feminist Mentorship Programedit
Adolescent girls must contend with several sets of competing expectations at the discursive intersection of sexuality, age, gender, and race. This article examines how a feminist mentorship program for early adolescent girls engaged the issue of sexuality. Despite the program’s self-described feminist orientation, ethnographic analysis revealed its reliance on moralistic, age-based standards of appropriate sexual interest and behavior; the suppression of sexuality; and girl-as-victim discourse. These data bolster the call for reformed, sex-positive approaches to adolescent sexuality and reveal some of the complexities involved in cross-generational feminist interventions.