Plea for Feminism Lessons for Girls Who Call Themselves 'Slut'; (1) Example: Emmeline Pankhurst (2) Christina Aguilera: 'Negative Influence' in Videos (3) Lessons: Jessica Ringrose

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Byline: LAURA CLARK

TEENAGE girls should be taught feminism at school to stop the growing trend of giving themselves abusive 'male' nicknames such as 'slut' and 'whore', an expert said yesterday.

Dr Jessica Ringrose, who has studied the social habits of schoolgirls, found they increasingly linked their personal worth to their ability to be sexually attractive.

Sexualised insults were common in chatrooms and social networking websites and young girls even boasted of being good at sex acts.

Dr Ringrose, of London's Institute of Education, found examples of girls choosing user- names such as 'slut', 'whore' and 'freesex' on social networking sites.

She called for teachers to discuss feminism and suggest positive role models, who could include figures such as Virginia Woolf, suffragettes' leader Emmeline Pankhurst and even the cartoon character Lisa Simpson.

She said they are needed to overcome the negative influences of celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

Dr Ringrose said: 'If you look at the images and representations girls have to identify with, they are primarily defined through their bodies - being thin, having fake boobs.' The trend was true of almost all women in the magazines and music videos that were central to young girls' social lives.

Debates in class could raise pupils' use of language and what it says about girls' self-esteem. …