This study investigates the gender and identity messages presented to teenage girls in female adolescent magazines targeted at them. It surveys the literature on socialization, gender socializing agents, and past studies done on these magazines, and concludes that adolescence is a critical time for girls in the development of an identity and gender identity. The review of social learning, cognitive development, and symbolic interactionism reveal that messages in these magazines can affect young girls by presenting models which girls look to in order to understand how to act, dress, and behave. Through content analysis this study explores two research questions. The first explores how education and schooling are portrayed in Seventeen, and the second investigates whether the magazine contains more traditional or contemporary messages. Results indicate that the few articles that did address education were coded as neutral; not emphasizing a value in getting an education. The results also reveal that the majority of the overall magazine content focused on traditional messages which emphasized appearance and looking good. This study suggests that messages in Seventeen in conjunction with traditional gender messages girls often received through other socializing agents, can have a powerful impact on teenage girls' identity development.


Holz, Jennifer


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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© Copyright 1997 Kristin Dobbs