M. Gigi Durham


On her book The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do about It

Cover Interview of December 04, 2008


The Lolita Effect is intended to start a national conversation about girls’ sexuality, the media, consumerism, and culture.  It’s intended to galvanize activism on behalf of our girls — activism against sexual exploitation of every kind, from mainstream media objectification to the harsh realities of child sex trafficking and child pornography.  In a media-saturated environment, the book advocates for media literacy as a required part of the K-12 curriculum.  The media define girls as one-dimensional creatures whose sole attribute is sexuality; my book celebrates girls as multi-dimensional beings with a great deal to offer.  Girls are intelligent, creative, artistic, athletic, spiritual, community-spirited, and powerful.  They need to be recognized as complex individuals whose value far exceeds sexuality.  The response to the book has been heartening.  Along with being reviewed in a variety of mainstream outlets, from People magazine to The Washington Post, it has generated reader response that indicates it is striking a chord in contemporary society.  For me, the notion of praxis – linking theory to real-world activism, practice, and social change – is a vital part of my scholarly commitment.  The Lolita Effect is effecting that crucial connection.

© 2008 M. Gigi Durham