Communication ETDs

Publication Date



This research examines the role of online teen magazines in the production of gender ideologies by analyzing the representation of teenage sexuality from a critical perspective. Informed by theories of representation, citationality, and ideology, I used Pan & Kosickis frame analysis to analyze three online teen magazines including Cosmo Girl, Seventeen, and Teen, focusing on 251 articles centered on adolescent sexuality. Each article was coded for the thematic, rhetorical, syntactic, and script structures, and categorized based on salient elements. After the articles were analyzed, the three online teen magazines constructed a discourse on sexuality through a common dominant frame: sexuality as a function of a romantic relationship between a boy and girl. This heteronormative ideology also revealed an imbalanced portrayal of gender roles concerning sexual health, leaving much to be desired for helpful information regarding prevention and protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases as a sexually active adolescent. In addition, males were perceived as aggressors in romantic relationships, reinforcing a subordinate position for females.




adolescent, sexuality, teen magazine, online, critical, frame analysis, heteronormativity, representation, citationality, ideology, gender

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Rodriguez, Ilia

First Committee Member (Chair)

Cramer, Janet

Second Committee Member

Strasburger, Victor