Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Beth Mintz

Second Advisor

Jennifer Strickler

Third Advisor

Mary Burke


sexualization, teen sexualization, teen television, heterosexuality


Much clothing, in a variety of adolescent clothing stores, is sexually explicit. At the same time, mainstream media has become extremely sexualized over the last several decades, and women and girls in particular are often depicted as sexual objects in advertisements, magazines, television, and film. Additionally, some research has identified a trend of sexualized clothing marketed to girls. Despite this, no research has addressed a similar trend in the clothing worn by female characters in pre- and young-teen (tween) television. In this thesis, I examine the extent to which clothing in contemporary tween television programing is sexualized. To do so, using a coding scheme adapted from Goodin et al. (2010), I analyzed 5 episodes each from the 2010 season of Big Time Rush, iCarly, Suite Life on Deck, and Wizards of Waverly Place. Over three-quarters of all female characters (76.5%) in these shows wore at least one sexualized outfit. Additionally, various factors such as age, race/ethnicity, and sexuality played a role in framing the ways in which girls and women were sexualized.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.