The girl child: A review of the empirical literature

Gretchen Heidemann, Kristin M. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article presents a critical synthesis of the empirical literature on the girl child. The often-cited issues faced by this population include the lack of access to education and health care, commercial sexual exploitation, and harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Despite frequent accounts cited in the literature, there has been no prior comprehensive review of issues encountered by the girl child or accompanying solutions. Adopting the systematic review method, the authors examine 16 empirical studies in relation to their geographic settings, definitions of the girl child, research methods, issues explored, and findings. Recommendations for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-185
Number of pages21
JournalAffilia - Journal of Women and Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Empirical research
  • Feminist theory
  • Girl child
  • Systematic literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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