Research Spotlight

Gerding Speno, A., & Stevens Aubrey, J. (2017). Sexualization, youthification, and adultification:A content analysis of images of girls and women in popular magazines. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. doi: 10.1177/1077699017728918

The present study examines the “adultification” of girls and “youthification” of women in popular magazines, in which girls are “dressed up” to look like women, and women are “dressed down” to look like girls. The analysis includes a total of 540 advertising and editorial images from women’s, men’s, and teen girls’ U.S. magazines. Results show that adultification is more prevalent than youthification, that youthification is equally prevalent in men’s and women’s magazines, that girls who are adultified are more likely to be provocatively dressed and exhibit sexy facial expressions, and that advertising and editorial images are equally likely to feature adultification and youthification.