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Teen Girls and Sex: “It’s like doing homework”

Teen Girls and Sex: “It’s like doing homework”

teen girls, sex, homework, femininity,

In one of my previous blogs I wrote about how girls’ academic achievement was related to a new standard of femininity that girls need to live up to. Recently, I came across an article that shows yet another way academic achievement may influence girls (sexual) development.

In their article ‘“It’s Like Doing Homework” Academic Achievement Discourse in Adolescent Girls’ Fellatio Narratives’, April Burns, Valerie Futch and Deborah Tolman describe how young girls use norms surrounding academic achievement when making sense of their sexual behavior.

It seems that in cultures that have a dominant discourse of academic achievement, which “… frames the primary purpose of education in terms of the achievement of high grades and standardized test scores, rather than preparation for college, employment or civic participation”, girls can incorporate such values in other aspects of their lives as well, including their sexual behavior.

The authors found that girls tend to talk about engaging in sexual behavior such as oral sex, in a manner that resembles how they talk about doing homework and test-taking at school: it’s a job that needs to get done, that they need to practice to become good at, and that they expect to be evaluated for. Performance anxieties that girls may have about taking tests at school, including fears of failing and the need to perform (as) well (as others), may have entered girls’ sexual lives.

Girls’ narratives of their own sexual pleasure, a “positive” discourse of sexuality in relationship, or consequences of sexual behavior such as STIs, pregnancy or rape, were rare. Whereas the physical sexual satisfaction seemed to be of boys alone, girls’ satisfaction was the pleasure in a job done well, and correctly.

The authors do not imply a direct causal relationship between the academic discourse and girls’ sexual behavior. They also suggest that the planning, preparation, and practice of sexual behavior may be a way to gain mastery and to understand what can easily feel out of control. However, it is an interesting thought that it may not just be sex-education itself, but also what is being taught at school about the importance of achievement, that affects young girls’ sexual lives.

Burns, A., & Futch, V.A., & Tolman, D.L. (2011). “It’s Like Doing Homework” Academic Achievement Discourse in Adolescent Girls’ Fellatio Narratives Sexuality Research and Social Policy

Image via: www.edvantage.com

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6 Comments

  • Kevin Kind
    November 11, 2012, 21:40

    The competition among young women for hi-resource men is intense and growing – as more women enter mating years and fewer men have good jobs. These young women are right. Overt sexual behavior is the main way to get the attention of the male brain – “…the male brain is basically a gonad…”

    Longer-term relationships based on early, and probably largely impulsive, casual sex or hyper-sexual visual cues, may not be optimal but it is playing to very old animals brain instincts and reflexes that are not accessible to conscious control.

    Sexual arousal and any kind of arousal also shortens time discounting and impulsive behavior. Dum, but the ways our brains evolved.

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  • Meaghan
    November 12, 2012, 23:57

    Women have always been more concerned with such things. From day one, girls are always more anxious and negative. This is most likely due to the early maturation that’s received. Men just go with the flow and don’t even experience menarche typically until around 17, when women have already started their journey at around age 12. Early maturing women are more likely to have a negative body image, which may create the need to feel loved and successful by the acceptance of the opposite sex. Another cause may be the fact that women who grow up without their biological father in the home are more likely to experience puberty earlier than others, as well as a stressful family environment. This early puberty compared to a man’s late growth makes for more time concerned about having successful relationships of their own, and known to be achieved through sexual behavior. This drive can become a challenge and a large achievement if true love is ever received, just like doing well in school. Most women will do what society suggests they have to.

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  • Josh Burroughs
    November 21, 2012, 04:31

    I think we are over observing what the sexual act means to a male and a female. Erik Erikson a psychologist believes that the fundamentals of young adult hood is love and work. The first primary psychological task when becoming a young women is to form a long and intimate relationship with another person. Many women want to perfect the act of oral sex to have a long and sustained relationship. This is why women look at oral sex as a job. Like stated above they must practice and learn to please there special other to satisfy each others needs. Women tend to have personal fantasies of marriage lingering in the back of their mind constantly. Although marriage is far off for a young teen women, they still want to master the act. In the modern age marriages have been increasing in age for when two partners decide to marry. This is why i believe is gives anxieties like preparing for a midterm exam, To recap, women like to prefect the act or oral sex to not just satisfy their special other, but to increase the likely hood of them being together.

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