Back to Annual Meeting
Back to Annual Meeting
APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

²I'm a dyme, that¢s top of the line, cute face, slim waist, with a big behind!²: Hip hop, sexuality, and body politics in black adolescent girls′ Internet home pages

Carla E. Stokes, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, PO Box 312114, Atlanta, GA 31131, 404-639-1901, carla_stokes@yahoo.com

BACKGROUND: Despite controversy surrounding sexually explicit and mysoginistic lyrics, images, and portrayals of women and girls in hip hop-influenced popular culture and on the Web, few researchers have investigated how sexual media affect black adolescent girls¢ sexuality.

PURPOSE: This qualitative study investigated the role of hip hop culture in shaping black adolescent girls' sexual self-representations and body image portrayals in Internet home pages.

METHODS: Home pages constructed by black adolescent girls (ages 14-17) in an online community were analyzed (N=216). The author used ethnographic content analysis methods and consulted with an expert panel of black adolescent girls from the Atlanta metropolitan area who were familiar with hip hop culture, the Internet, and girls¢ home pages.

RESULTS: The majority of girls in the sample used their home pages to attract romantic/sexual partners. In general, girls expressed satisfaction with their body image and emphasized their appearance, attractiveness, and sexuality through narratives, photographs, and multimedia content. Interestingly, girls often aligned themselves with beauty and body image ideals that mirrored hypersexual portrayals of black women and girls in hip hop culture and on the Web. Moreover, many of the girls defined themselves and others as commodities, through a monetary-based social stratification system influenced by hip hop (i.e., ²dymes/dimes,² ²quarters,² ²silver dollars,² etc.).

CONCLUSION: Health education efforts should incorporate media literacy components and respond to the role of the media, hip hop culture, and youth cyberculture in shaping black adolescent girls¢ sexuality, health, and body image in the 21st Century.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Adolescents, Media

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

Health Disparities among Minority Women

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA