Girl Power or Powerless Girl? Television, Sexual Scripts, and Sexual Agency in Sexually Active Young Women

  title={Girl Power or Powerless Girl? Television, Sexual Scripts, and Sexual Agency in Sexually Active Young Women},
  author={Rita C. Seabrook and L. Monique Ward and Lilia M. Cortina and Soraya Giaccardi and Julia R. Lippman},
  journal={Psychology of Women Quarterly},
  pages={240 - 253}
Both traditional gender roles and traditional heterosexual scripts outline sexual roles for women that center on sexual passivity, prioritizing others’ needs, and self-silencing. Acceptance of these roles is associated with diminished sexual agency. Because mainstream media are a prominent source of traditional gender portrayals, we hypothesized that media use would be associated with diminished sexual agency for women, as a consequence of the traditional sexual roles conveyed. We modeled the… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Sexual Object or Sexual Subject? Media Use, Self-Sexualization, and Sexual Agency Among Undergraduate Women

Objectification theorists argue that repeated exposure to sexually objectifying media content leads to higher levels of self-objectification. Although consequences of self-objectification for women’s

A Scripted Sexuality: Media, Gendered Sexual Scripts, and Their Impact on Our Lives

Gendered sexual scripts reflect the culture’s expectations for how women and men interact in courtship and romantic relationships. These expectations prioritize passivity and appearance for young

A Comparison of Sexual Minority and Heterosexual College Students on Gendered Sexual Scripts and Sexual Coercion Perpetration.

Prior work has identified endorsement of gendered sexual script beliefs as predictive of sexual coercion perpetration among heterosexual individuals, primarily men. This research is lacking among

Following Their Lead? Connecting Mainstream Media Use to Black Women’s Gender Beliefs and Sexual Agency

Results confirmed expectations, such that greater media consumption was associated with greater support of traditional gender and sexual roles; in turn, endorsing these roles predicted lower levels of sexual assertiveness, greater sexual inhibition, and more frequent use of sexual dishonesty to retain a partner.

The Lessons Will Be Televised: Examining Television Portrayals of Sexual Consequences by Gender

This study examined the sexual double standard in the portrayal of sexual consequences on television. A content analysis of television programs nominated for Teen Choice Awards from 2012 to 2015

Contributions of Reality TV Consumption to College Women’s Endorsement of the Heterosexual Script and Acceptance of Sexualized Aggression

A prominent feature of mainstream television, especially reality programming, is a heterosexual script that outlines women’s and men’s traditional courtship roles. Although frequent media use is

Not Another Teen Show: Exploring the Impact of Sexual Scripts in Sexually Oriented Teenage Television on Adolescent Girls’ Romantic Relationship and Sexual Expectations

ABSTRACT Television narratives present conflicting information regarding heterosexual, adolescent sexuality. In response to this, the present study examined the associations between adolescent girls’

Living Life as the Bachelor/ette: Contributions of Diverse Television Genres to Adolescents’ Acceptance of Gendered Sexual Scripts

For both studies, viewing of reality TV was associated with stronger support of each measure of GSS; there were few contributions of other genres.

Sexism and sexual risk behavior in adolescents: Gender differences



Gender, Belief in the Sexual Double Standard, and Sexual Talk in Heterosexual Dating Relationships

This study was focused on the extent to which sex, gender, and attitudes toward sexuality influenced the amount and quality of sexual communication within 698 heterosexual dating couples. Women

From Sex to Sexuality: Exposing the Heterosexual Script on Primetime Network Television

A new coding scheme is described to evaluate sexual content from a feminist perspective and captures depictions of boys/men and girls/women thinking, feeling, and behaving in relational and sexual encounters in ways that sustain power inequalities between men and women.

Femininity Ideology and Sexual Health in Young Women: A focus on Sexual Knowledge, Embodiment, and Agency

ABSTRACT Traditional femininity ideology is associated with diminished sexual agency in women; yet we know little about its connection to sexual knowledge or experiences of one's body during sex.

Rethinking the associations between television viewing and adolescent sexuality development: bringing gender into focus.

Women’s constructions of heterosexual non-romantic sex and the implications for sexual health

Qualitative interviews with 15 Australian women who engage in non-romantic sex demonstrate that women choose a variety of non-romantic sexual arrangements and activities. A discourse analysis

To Be Seen and Not Heard: Femininity Ideology and Adolescent Girls’ Sexual Health

Testing the hypothesis that internalizing conventional ideas about femininity in two domains—inauthenticity in relationships and body objectification—is associated with diminished sexual health among adolescent girls revealed that inauthenticity inrelationship were associated with poorer sexual self-efficacy and sexualSelfefficacy, in turn, predicted less sexual experience and less use of protection.

Formative Sexual Communications, Sexual Agency and Coercion, and Youth Sexual Health

This article argues that formative sexual communications, and sexual attitudes and behaviors, are important foci in the exploration of the sexual health of young people. The study examines links

Our Scripted Sexuality

The heterosexual script describes the set of complementary but unequal roles for women and men to follow in their romantic and sexual interactions. The heterosexual script is comprised of the sexual

Men's media use, sexual cognitions, and sexual risk behavior: testing a mediational model.

College students instead of high school students are sampled, sexual behaviors and media formats are investigated, and a model that featured sexual cognitions as mediators is tested, revealing strong support for the mediated model and some direct connections from media use to sexual behavior.

Contributions of Diverse Media to Self-Sexualization among Undergraduate Women and Men

Although everyday exposure to media content that sexually objectifies women is believed to lead women to sexualize themselves, research testing this connection has produced mixed results. Most