Theorists disagree about how to define the concept of empowerment. This disagreement extends to discussions of adolescent girls’ sexual empowerment. Feminists struggle with whether sexual empowerment should be conceptualized as a subjective internal feeling of power and agency or an objective measure of power and control. Defining sexual empowerment as a subjective state may mistakenly equate feelings of agency with cultural and institutional power. Yet, a subjective definition of sexual empowerment is advantageous in that it validates girls’ own experiences and perceptions. This commentary argues that sexual empowerment might best be conceptualized as a continuous and multidimensional construct. This would allow for the recognition of sexual empowerment as a developmental process, and it would allow for the acknowledgement of ambivalent empowerment.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 30, 2009
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