Magazines offer many opportunities for teenagers to consider and investigate their sexuality. In particular, sexuality advices and stories in magazines enables teenagers to understand personal sexual issues or problems that they might be having in a healthier light. Post-feminism attitudes have become very popular in teenage magazines for both male and female readers, this is partly because prior to the feminism movement women were never seen as having much sexual desire for men and women generally didn’t feel comfortable expressing their sexual attributes or sexuality. I will be examining three studies in this essay all by the same author ‘Sue Jackson’ involving textual analyses of problem pages, interviews with magazine staff and focus groups with readers of the magazine (“Dear Girlfriend” 286). Each article examines letters written to the advice pages of an Australasian teen magazine Girlfriend in relation to sexual desire and sexual health problems. This essay will argue how teenage magazines express the post-feminism culture and thus can contribute to safe sex messages in advice pages/letters
Over the years sex has become more noticeable amongst teenagers as there is a vast majority of different media use that provides some understanding of sex to the younger generation. Currie found that young women were drawn to the magazines by the desire to ‘know about themselves as teenagers and to solve everyday problems’ (154). The sexual information in magazines has changed over the years but still displays post feminism attitudes throughout. Most young teen magazines present an advice page in each monthly issue answering letters that girls, in particular, have sent in regarding their personal issues, problems and concerns that teenagers have with their body, their love life and their life generally (“Dear Girlfriend” 289). However, these advice pages have changed post feminism from romance and school dramas to sexuality. For example, teen magazines address sexuality issues answering questions on “what to wear, how to look, and how to get what you want” in order to impress the opposite sex.
Sexuality can affect us throughout our lives through a better early understanding of ourselves sexually and our ability to relate well in a sexual relationship (Crooks &Baur 2). Preston suggests that sexuality is related to the discussion of bodies, desires and needs (18). Post-feminism contributed somewhat to a climate for unsafe sex through women’s now overt sexuality becoming more acceptable in society and more level with men.
Today, teenage magazines are addressing and encouraging safe sex throughout their monthly magazine with issues that try to increase knowledge of the risk and dangers that unsafe sex can have on teenager’s bodies and emotions.
Before women became more independent with Post-feminism males generally dominated society, women were perceived as housewives, cooking, cleaning and looking after the children while the men worked as the...