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Girls, Adolescence and the Impact of Bodily Changes

[journal article]

Flaake, Karin

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Abstract This article presents the results of a study concerning the impact of physical changes accompanying female puberty. It examines the meanings these changes have for the girls themselves, as well as for their mothers and fathers. The hypothesis, essentially rooted in psychoanalytical theory, is that the reactions of mothers and fathers to the bodily changes of their daughter communicate messages about these changes that, in turn, impact on the girl’s perception and experience of her body. These messages are influenced by the often unconscious desires, fantasies and fears of the adults as well as by societal gender images. Depending on how adult care providers confront the psychic issues raised by their daughter’s adolescence and, in turn, how they interact with their daughter during her transition to adulthood, these psychic events may either serve to perpetuate societal gender images or offer a means of revising them.
Keywords menstruation
Free Keywords father-daughter relationship; female adolescence; female body; female puberty; mother-daughter relationship;
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 201-212
Journal European Journal of Women's Studies, 12 (2005) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)