Our “Ideal Girl”: Prescriptions of Female Adolescent Sexuality in a Feminist Mentorship Program


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

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.

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