'Tweenage' girls find sexy images 'gross'

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Wellington, March 21 (ANI): Contrary to the popular belief that girls are passively soaking up sexualised messages in the media in a way that distorts their views on sexuality, a new study has shown that 'tweenage' girls (those aged 11 to 13) are making informed decisions about sexualised popular culture.

Using Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus' decision to appear bare-shouldered and wrapped in a bed sheet on the cover of Vanity Fair in April 2008 as an example, lecturers at Canterbury and Victoria Universities found that rather than wanting to be like the star, the 'tween' girls found the magazine cover 'yuk', 'gross' and 'uncool'.

The study analysed the opinions of 71 girls using video diaries and focus groups.

Dr Tiina Vares, of Canterbury University and one of the study's principal investigators, said that study was the first of its kind to take into account the views of the girls.

"Something that has generally been left out of the 'too sexy, too soon' debate is the voice of the girls themselves and how they make sense of and engage with popular culture. That's where our study comes in," New Zealand Herald News quoted Vares as telling the University of Auckland News.

Dr Vares said that she believed the backlash from young fans showed that young girls were making informed decisions on the images they saw. (ANI)

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