Elementary School Girls and Heteronormativity: The Girl Project.
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This article examines preadolescent girls in a group setting as they coconstructed heteronormativity. The authors contend that heteronormativity is not the product of a coming-of-age transformation but instead an everyday part of life, even for very young social actors. It emerges from the gender divide between boys and girls but is also reproduced by and for girls themselves. In the Girl Project, the authors sought to understand younger girls’ interests, skills, and concerns. They conducted nine focus groups with 43 elementary school girls, most of whom were age nine or younger. They observed these girls as they defined “girls’ interests” as boy centered and as they performed heteronormativity for other girls. This article contributes to filling the gap in research on gender and sexuality from children’s own points of view.