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ERIC Number: EJ1102180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1554-6128
Unraveling the Slut Narrative: Gender Constraints on Adolescent Girls' Sexual Decision-Making
Summit, Aleza K.; Kalmuss, Debra; DeAtley, Jenifer; Levack, Andrew
American Journal of Sexuality Education, v11 n2 p113-128 2016
Limited research exists on the slut labeling process, a key means of enforcing rules around appropriate female sexuality. This study explores that process through qualitative interviews with 44 adolescent girls in Travis County, Texas. Labeling girls as sluts or hos was pervasive and was based on a number of factors beyond sexual behavior, including dress, friendships with boys, or jealousy from other girls. Responses depicted a narrow space in which girls functioned, bound at one end by limited agency and at the other by pervasive vulnerability. There was consensus about the negative consequences of being labeled. Most girls held mixed opinions about the slut labeling process: this may reflect their attempts to push back against a system that entraps them. These findings suggest that prevention and sex education programs must explicitly address slut labeling as well as other gender narratives that impede healthy sexual development.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Health Resources and Services Administration (DHHS), Office of Adolescent Health
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: 6TP2AH0000010102