Childhood is a gendered phenomenon with very different sets of expectations, experiences, and effects depending on the designation of male or female. When generic terms, such as childhood or youth, are used, often what is imagined is the male version of the term. It is therefore essential to think through the specific relationship between childhood and girlhood. It is also important to think about girls and girlhood in intersectional ways. That is, gender is only one aspect of social identity, and others such as race, class, ability, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality also shape experiences of girlhood.

The meaning of girl is shaped by different social, political, economic, and historical contexts. This means that girls and girlhood is defined as more than simply a biological phenomenon or ...

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