Overly Sexualized Girls?


Are girls overly sexualized where you live? How important is being light-skinned or slim? What should be done about it?

Posted by Amar C. Bakshi on February 28, 2007 5:11 PM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (132)

haven :

Yes, it is true to a point that children nowadays are encouraged by the image machines (TV, Internet, magazines) to grow up before their time. This has a lot to do with kids having so much access to information that just twenty years ago would have been a lot harder for them to grab and absorb. I also agree that in past times, women were objectified quite a bit in Western society, in particular so-called "light" or "fair-skinned" girls, which of course is just another way of saying white. However, it must also be noted that our society is a lot more inclusive than in the past, and there are a lot more examples in the media of women who are not the same color, just as there are many examples of women who do not rely on sex to excel for young girls to follow. Nancy Pelosi readily comes to mind. With that said, the response to some of the more feminist postings must be made. Despite what some women may think, all men are not depraved sexual monsters who stalk women, nor are we all hell bent on keeping women oppressed. Quite honestly, while I feel terrible for the unfortunate women out there who have been the victims of sexual assault, it is wrong and patently offensive the way some of these comments have been floated about on this site. If the feminists out there want to be respected, then they must also show it. It is high time, ladies, that you apologize for your blatant labeling of men as predators. It is time for you to give credit to all those single dads out there, to men who help their wives with domestic chores, to guys out there who work right along side women, and in some cases, even answer to them- all without treating them like objects. You also give no credence to those male athletes out there who also have to sacrifice their bodies in order to make a better life for themselves. Wake up girls--you are NOT the only victims. Men suffer, too. We also have, on average, five less years to live than you. Let's see you address that sexual inequality.

kase :

I don't know about the "light-skinned" thing but as far as girls being "over-sexuallized"...
I sure hope so!

Cminmd :

It is not just the over sexualized clothes- it is the attitudes that go hand in hand with them. I was shopping at Target in the juniors department they were selling a belly shirt with the slogan-

"I want,
You Buy,
Any Questions?"

This shirt came in the size 2T through XL tween. Not only are girls being trained to look like hookers, they are taught the business model for the trade as well. You wouldn't want a girl to think you can learn to read, write, do math and get a great job to buy what you want- just pout and beg men for scraps!

My ten year old daughter is "cafe au lait" in skin tone and she is far more bothered by her "belly" than by her color.
Every Black History month she asks questions about where people she knows would have to sit on the bus- she and her brother (back), mom and dad (front), friends (all over). However, to her the 50's and 60's is approximately a million years ago in the time of dinosaurs.

SoftballGuy :

I realized our culture had dropped to a new low in sexualization when I recently Googled softball star Jennie Finch to get some photos of her championship pitching form for my students and found several shots of her wearing her winning smile and not much else. I had thought sports were creating a new generation of confident, talented young women who didn't have to take off their clothes to prove their worth, but I guess I was wrong and that's terribly discouraging. And good grief, Finch is a married mother. We are truly doomed to travel down the road of decadence toward the same fate as the Roman Empire.

michelle :

i am so sickly tired of beauty ideals. i'm sick of the discussion, all the focus on it, and the anxiety it gives me. although i feel the subject has been overly discussed, there is no other way to fight it. even though everybody talks about how horrible it is all the time, it is necessary to keep talking. what i don't get is why the discussion has born no fruit. everyone says that you are beautiful the way you are, and still the pressure is just as tough to look good. i don't believe there will ever be one day on earth when looks don't matter.

C F :

I think this passionate debate has made many valid points, but it pays short shrift to one point - the juvenile sexual attitudes of Americans towards sex. When one goes to Europe and travels to England where tabloids have topless women, or Denmark where ponography is legalized (except child of course), or france, where Mediterranean beaches are topless or even nude we see countries that tolerate more public nudity or erotic material than Americans ever would. Yet, these countries are plaged with pre-teen sex pots, sexual predators, and hysterical denunciations of sexuality. Maybe the problem isn't too much sex. maybe the problem is too repressed or to explotative a view of sex. When normal erotic expression is labeled evil, when advertising conglomerates and the media are allowed to trivialize personal dynamics and physical expression. When sex is used to shock or sell. When sex is mixed with violence to intensify its pruient effect. When society maintains a large ambivalence toward the full participation of women in society. Then.. Then we have a society full of bluenoses, precocious pre-teens and commodified/trivialized sexual images. Add violence to this hormonal mix and you have a familiar result. Maybe we don't less sexuality - maybe we need more honest and adult and less violent sexuality. Let's learn from societies that have "more" sex and less dysfunction, shall we?

PS, I think the level of violence and violent imagery in American society is more of a clear and present danger. A hormonal teen with a AR-47 scares me more than a 17-year old at Victoria's Secret.

Melinda Sisson :

One could argue that a healthy person has a sense of self, a knowledge of who one is. But a human being is more than the body, it is also the mind and spirit. So if we, as a society, put extreme emphasis on the body alone, and lift up one type of body above all others, it would seem to me that the other two facets would lose importance. It will make for a shallow world, with little feeling and enlightenment.

Turn on your TV, and ask yourself if that is what you are witnessing.

Rubarb :

This whole topic really goes to how immature men and women can be and how so many of both fail to grow up. The difference between boys and Real Men? Real Men, who confortable in their own skins, know that, for Real Women, "It is not what is between the thighs, but is what is behind the eyes" really defines a Real Women's sexuality. And thank God that there are still enough Real Women who recognize this principle. The other females are harmless fluff who may one day grow up and become Real Women or just remain girls. And the boys who chase after them will, unfortunely, often just remain boys all their born days!

vloper :

I am just sickened by the evening TV shows, even the news shows such as DateLineNBC. The show where they capture "preditors of the children of the internet" is absolutely sickening. This show maybe should have aired once, maybe twice, but a weekly show? This surely was meant to WARN parents that their children are targets for sick perverts, but since seeing the show for a few times, I'm wondering just what is the purpose of the show. I feel like it was justified the first few times, yet now I feel like that the language used, the words actually written on the screen as to what the preditors said, and what the young girls responded to, are actually causing a lot of problems. Think about it...you have all these men watching this show, reading the chat room language, the perversion spoken, and I feel like the men may be actually "getting off" on this stuff, or at the very least, when they are with their spouse/girlfriend, they are "fantasizing". This to me is a form of cheating on their spouse. This show actually would put "thoughts" into the minds of the TV watchers, just as other TV shows do. I think that TV and Movies have just gone WAY OUT OF LINE on all things. The news will actually show you how to pick door locks for theives, make bombs to blow up things/people, etc... They leave absolutely NOTHING to the immagination. On another level, for those of us who are just past the bikini stage, sagging a little bit, it really hurts for our husbands/boyfriends to "stare" at what is put in front of their faces. Please be aware that the 35 plus girls have feelings too, and we want our husbands/boyfriends to look at US, not the tiny, big boobed, fake everything girls.

JF Magin :

oversexualized- definitely. As kids get inundated with mixed messages in the multitude of media- internet, text messaging, TiVoized world, their undeveloped minds must adjust and take on adult perspectives. I don't think they're emotionally mature ( and I'm speaking of the 9-12 range) to handle that task, yet we pressure cook them into it baby fat becomes Baby Phat. What does a skinny prepubescent need to wear velour sweats that basically say "look at my hiney" for? Sick! A twelve year old buying thongs at Victoria's secret- huh? I feel sick inside when I see moms drag their daughters in there, or let them off curbside to go shop at VS. It's a complete buzzkill for me when I shop for my wife! Juicy Couture needs to back off the kids market or redesign for the appropriate age. Having it on the racks at Lord and Taylor does not make it ok. Parents need to take primary blame for letting them go out of the house that way as well. growing up, the biggest scandal we had was Jordache and Sasson. Is it evolution of society or erosion, I wonder.

Claudia :

Sex and violence "sell" in our distortedly capitalized culture. Community values are often overwhelmed by the din of advertising by those who value money and nothing else.

It's no accident that the people of the USA are among the most violent and sexually exploited on the planet.

Raymond James Thibault :

Unfortunately it's a sign of the Times. As long as the role models don't wear panties, get pregnant and wear as little as possible there are young and impressionable people who will follow their lead.There are still many who do not follow the trends. Trends come and go. Maybe soon a good person will step up and show how to be Cute, sexy and still remain clothed. Sure we come into the world naked; but the old birth day suit begins to wear out, stretches and buldges as soon as we start to eat. Oh well life happens. As a society we are addicted to too many things, bored with what we have and in many case clueless as to how to truly live. I Pray that our society will one day return to being a nation where family values are again the standard. Return to a life that is less hurried, stressed, copied and let Girls be Girls and Boys be Boys, and let them grow up when they are ready. We have a decatant Society that needs help.

Bobster :

Even if girls are becoming "oversexualized" aand they want to be "light skinned" and "slim". Nothing can be done about it. And should something even be done about it? That is their choice. Its not the mens fault, or the fashion industry, or whoever or whatever. Its not no big conspiracy. Just take a look at some pictures from a 100 years ago on how men and women dressed. Then look back to about 55 years ago. Its called "change". No-one can stop it. Not the Liberals, not the conservatives, nor the religious fanatics. They may impede change, and even slow it down some. But change will happen. For better or worse. Just think how women will be dressing in 20 years from now. Clothes may be a thing of the past. I guess that could be a good thing or a bad thing dependent upon the viewer.

Solange :

I agree, males are scrabbling to regain former totalitarian control over female sexuality. While spectacles of human male attention to young kids tends to reaffirm the base, simplistic and self-serving nature of male sexuality; at its core, it's actually more vulnerable, evolutionarily speaking. It only takes a female one encounter to reproduce...males must prove themselves to mate in all animal species. Historically, this has been the tragedy of male leadership...an institution that brings, not so much 'creative' forms of destruction, as ever-intensifying ones. Technological advances that increasingly allow males to 'farm' women, like chickens and cows; will ultimately rot our social fabric from from the inside out.

Gus Salazar :

The underlying issue of sexualizing young girls is power and/or dominance. The structure of this country has always been predominantly masculine. And, as a critical mass of women gain ever more positions of power (higher education, executives, congress, possible presidential) there seems to be an upsurge in the sexualization of women in order to keep them oppressed. It seems that that is the only way that men keep power over women.

thank you.

Solange :

The nature of human male sexuality is an unfortunate evolutionary fact. The extent to which women (or sadly, girls) feel pressure to conform to it, however, is a most illuminating indicator of how much economic, social, etc. power men continue to wield over women. Trends towards sexualizing the very young suggest the traditional social focus on male self-interest is alive and well; and proliferating into the global norm.

Solange :

The human male sexual dynamic is an unfortunate fact of evolution... The extent to which females feel a need to conform to it, however, offers an illuminating gauge of the relative social, economic, etc. advantages males enjoy over women in any particular social environment. Contemporary trends that sexualize the very young would seem to indicate an intensification of male interests as primary social driver, globally.

Emad :

Pretty women make us buy beer. Ugly women force us to drink it!

college girl :

So my freshman year I got raped by I Rugby player, while his teamates stood behind the door and cheered. When I went to the university counseling center I had to sit through an hour of the psychologist asking about my clothing and alcohol consumption. The woman insinuated that it was my fault for drinking and dressing the way I did!!!
No matter what I drank I was a Victim! There is so much focus in these discussion on women being sexualized through the media and clothing, but teenage boys are also being sexualized in a way that is even more violent and subversive, although it garners less media attention.

Perhaps restricting women/girls dress and movement would reduce the incidence of assault, however, restricting men's drinking and movement would likely produce the same result. Strangely although men are generally the perpetrators nobody ever suggests this.

SFReader :

I was shocked this weekend at the clothing being advsertised for young girls in the Bloomingdale's "Hot List" mailer (I think this may have only been Western US, but other regions may be similar). "Juicy Couture" brand velour pants and bikinis that read "Juicy" across the bottoms were featured in the magazine modeled on 6-10 year olds. And these child models were dolled-up like a cross between JonBenet and Venice Beach babes. Yes, I would say it was over-sexualized... just a tad.

farmasea :

Yes. The solution is a shift from being who the Movie/TV/Magazine moguls tell us to be and instead embracing the idea that we can only be ourselves.

Until Big Business learns to profit off normalcy, the problem they created is here to stay.

skirke :

Is this a stupid day?

Anonymous :

I hope , you both, are O.K. I am little surprised to see this title. I hope things are going well at both homes.

BobL-VA :

Tom Wonacott,

See, I knew we could find a topic we both agreed on. I might not be as harsh on the implant issue, but other then that I couldn't agree more.

ORL :

I just wish to point out how amusing it is to read so many posters repeat, in essence, one after another: "Let's face it, the world is...." or "Let's face it, society is...". No, it's not society, let alone the world, it is the posters' society, it is his/her world...

One does not need to go that far to see that not all (not even a majority of) societies, in this world, have the dominant life-style to be found in the US. Moreover, that dominant life-style of theirs is by no means inferior to the one to be found in the US.

There are viable, worthwhile alternatives for anybody who is not self-centered, personally and socially.

Don't take my word for it: go and see!

swp :

I was disturbed that public education using scantily dressed teenage girls to promote car washes. Girls with 'cheer' plastered over their short shorts collect trash by an eight lane highway or hold up car wash signs. One high school held a make-over contest that was used by MTV. If government institutions allow this, they are promoting it.

I would like to see more healthy attitudes about fitness, sex and long term intimate relationships. Teens are immature and hormonal, we need to help and protect them. Sadly this kind of predatory use of children to collect money has social approval when it's done in the name of a school. Disapproval is interpretted as masculine predatory behavior. When are 'people' going to be nobody's possession?

AVK :

It appears that, seeing the print-media, TVs' channels, ads, modern media projecting anykind of goods, or any service, to sell,
in other words, it is the only way of presentation of 'girls' 'physical curves.

1.For eg. The men 'Banian', advertisement 'abikini girl, clinging to a mans' muscular body, surprising???

2.Another where cine-star, Jakie sharrof', playing the model for a 'Suit' advertisement, a semi-nude, girl, her hands clasping the person, round the waist, i.e inside the coat is needed as per the product???

3.Now-a-day even the heroines they show only the curves and the swaiying hair, sometimes, only,
36-24-36, figure, difficult to make out the face, the face not be worth seeing also.

4.Other than girls body nothing sells in India, specially,
may be in western but even on the planet, it appears.
5. Girls that too naked, semi naked, are the only 'Bhoga'(royal-feast as per the mens' attitude, thoughts and interest!!!

6. In Mumbai, and other places, people(lusts) throw the notes at the bar girls, may not spend for, wifes' parents' health or medicines, pregrancy, and the domestic expenses. the school children education.
7. Men complain that they donot have time to spend inthe home with their family as they work heavily in the office, but they have plenty of time roll on the Bar-floor; , pampering the belly-selling or showing females, at the roadside bars. in the drunken state.
Very pathetic.

8.for selling a bulgy car also the 'bikni' girls standon all corners of the car??? starnge.

Tom Wonacott :

PG

Teenage girls have different interest and mature at different rates so some young, teenage girls are more affected by America's obsession with sex than others. Movies, TV, magazines and peers greatly influence girls (and desensitize adults). In general, since society will not change, then the parents need to shield young children from sexual material (TV shows, movies etc.), and teach the values necessary to make the right decisions as they grow up.

What is really a sign that our society has gone too far are breast implants not related to mastectomies or other medical conditions. It's completely absurd but, in some ways, understandable considering our societies obsession with large breast.

Thin is good, in my opinion, as long as a good diet and exercise lead to that result. Obsession with being thin, however, can lead to eating disorders. The elimination of PE in our schools has been a national disaster, and should be reversed.

Shashank Shekhar (Doha) :

There is nothing wrong in a woman "Sexualising" herself if it boosts her personaliy and fills her with confidence. Sexualising takes a wrong turn when it is done with an intention of distracting someone. When there something called "hunger for attention" that lies behind.
And a age should be defined only after a girl should be allowed to sexualise herself. Sexualisation, we all know has the potential to draw a person to a very wrong path.

Mike Brooks :


The blame for this, as with so much of our other societal problems, can be put squarely on business. Take a look at the front page of today?s Washington Post: runway models at a Paris show, Eye On Entertainment with some bimbo with two men at once, more headlines about Paris Hilton and her sister and Linsey Lohan, and yet another story about ?Former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith?. Then, go look at your sister media outlet, MSNBC: ?Sexploration: One last bedroom taboo lifted? (extolling the ?fun? of anal sex), ?Jolie plans to adopt again? (the message: big breasted bimbo marriage wrecker with the morals of a cat can do anything and still look good). Then, look at ?Hillary Clinton?s Hidden Thesis?, ?Army Fires Walter Reed Chief?, the athlete doping headlines, ?SEC Charges 13 In Illegal Trading Scam?. FOX, that family network, features Homer as the bumbling, somewhat crooked father and Bart the sociopath as the typical young man. Lisa and her mom are tough, smart and at least try to be moral. Southpark, every movie made intended for a teenage audience, all deliver the same message.

Oh, our girls get that message, so do our boys. Morals don?t matter, the countries pretty much screwed anyways, what matters is what you can get. If you have money or Hollywood dictated good looks, preferably both, than you can do just about anything ? make a porno movie and get your own ?Reality? television series, work as a stripper, pose naked in a magazine and marry a millionaire. Cheat hundred of thousands of investors out of millions of dollars, keep most of the money, maybe serve a year or two in a federal prison featuring tennis courts, a golf club, and private weekend visits from the wife or girlfriend of your choosing. And god help us all with the generation of young men coming along, pushed aside by their teachers and society as little oppressors of women in the making. Use a derisive phrase like ?that?s so gay? and no one asks why it is that the homosexual community has made a mockery of themselves, the politically correct all just run around condemning the messenger.

Sex sells and advertisers and media will titillate and push the envelope for any attention, because, as Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie so ably demonstrate, any attention is good attention if you wait it out. MBA?s lay off older workers, comb their insurance records and fire workers with higher medical insurance costs. (And please don?t act all outraged about that, because that is precisely what I did after my last engineering job was outsourced. Virtually all companies with more than 100 employees are ?self insured?. My job was to run queries as to claim costs for the entire families of employees covered by the company?s medical plan. These were, STILL legally mind you, turned over to the employer who based their layoff on that list.) The soulless swine that graduate from our college MBA programs, our captains of industry, don?t have the slightest idea or concern for their product or their workers. They answer to shareholders and willingly sell their souls and ours for money.

So don?t blame families or mom and dad or peer pressure. Mom and dad are working their hearts out trying to make ends meet and are stuck working mandatory overtime when that parent-teacher meeting is scheduled, and society has long gotten the message that you take what you can when you can.

Travis :

Depends who your looking at. I know lots of girls who are comsumed by a ridiculously constrained worldview, revolving around their own sexual desireability. It's really quite disgusting. In many cases the only way that such women can even relate to men, or the rest of society for that matter, is through their sexuality. Maybe this is just an early 20's thing, but I find, quite often, a complete lack of concern for ideas larger than themselves. Of course there are also plenty of other women out there who do care about others, society and the world. Unforntunately, these women aren't put TV, they aren't down at the clubs every night with their boytoys getting drunk. They're out having meaningful experiences like the rest of us. Unfortunately it makes them a bit harder to find.

Globalmaven-Liam Bailey UK http://warpages-leejay.blogspot.com :

Not that I'm complaining, but there are too many young, pretty, thin women going around, happily flaunting themselves, enjoying the attention, and reaping the benefits. For those less fortunate, on the other side of the coin life can and often is much more difficult. But this can be as much, if not more of a problem for men. I work in a supermarket, men making up 95% of the top tier management team, i.e. 4 men one woman. Young pretty girls start working and a few months later they either get a promotion or a move to a cushy department.

Meanwhile I slog my guts out and get nowhere, mind you I refuse to --brown nose--, subjugate, shall we say. I'm not even insinuating that these girls are sleeping with the managers or even leading them on, in fact to the best of my knowledge nothing like that has gone on in any of the cases I am talking about, perhaps a little harmless flirting here and there. The point is they don't have to do anything, just be there as eye candy. Pleasing them with cushy numbers and promotions is incentive to stay. These girls may be well worthy of the positions they are being given, but my point is the managers often aren't taking enough time to find out.

For the young girls, boys, men and women not blessed with divine beauty and perfection struggle through life, watching their angelic but perhaps less intelligent counterparts excelling at their expense, often knowing that looks and perceptions are all that is holding them back puts immense pressure on a person's mental state. That is where women differ from men.

These women, like their more pleasant to the eye counterparts, often read women's magazines, filled with the images the former aspires to and the latter emulates. As life goes on, set back after set back, pass over after pass over, rejection after rejection, their mental state becomes more and more fragile. These magazine images become more and more appealing, and in extreme cases women can want to look like them at all cost. In extreme cases this means eating disorders or even suicide.

This problem becoming so amplified, often so quickly is less common in men because, as I said in women's magazines there are lots of pictures of attractive men and women, in men's magazines there are lots of pictures of attractive women. The most popular women's magazines are frequently about celebrities, celebrities are mostly attractive.

Popular men's magazines are not about celebrities, they are about sport, a chosen hobby and/or attractive women. This can still cause hang ups as it is always evident these women are out of their league, but like I said it is not as common. For it to be as common men would need to read women's magazines.

Are you spotting a common thread here? The influx of celebrity magazines aimed at the female market is a fairly new phenomenon, as is people craving celebrity, which often turns from a dream into an obsession, as are the flood of reality T.V. shows that offer these people the chance to live the dream, a growing phenomenon that shows no signs of abating. Until people see what the world is turning into, and realize that true celebrity's don't crave celebrity status and the massive popularity and notoriety it brings, it is a side effect of whatever they do so well, be it acting or playing football. Sometimes it is a side effect they would happily live without. They have no privacy and no freedom, they can never be themselves because they are always under the microscope. They can't have a boozy night out or a quiet meal with their wife/husband or friends and family. Everything they do is all over the papers and/or the T.V. Why does anybody crave that?

Of course the affected women don't necessarily crave the lifestyle just the look, but if people stopped craving celebrity and celebrity lost its footing as the "in thing" the scores of magazines would lose the niche that they fill to its absolute capacity, and the vulnerable women would no longer be under such pressure. You may ask why do they buy the magazines? Because the gossip element draws them in. If there is one thing that most women love it is a good bit of gossip. These magazines promise the juiciest gossip about the biggest stars, giving the impression that it may show up these superstars as mortal and make the insecure feel better about themselves. Like: Is that cellulite on such and such a starts thigh? When in fact the increased publicity often makes them more popular and their status even more craved.

Either way, insecure women will keep buying magazines filled with images that eventually make them hate their own body. This will obviously and ever more frequently lead to drastic measures.

Get the campaign managers on the case. Stop the press. Just say no. Love yourself and learn to be happy with the body and the life you have.

*Liam Bailey writes regularly for the Palestine Chronicle, Arabic Media Internet Network and is an advanced blogger on the Washington Post's Post Global. He runs the War Pages blog and you can contact him at wordsworth22@tesco.net

Bubbah :

So who will be the next "hero" and "princess" of our society after Anna Nicole Smith?

But any way, more sex and less war is my kind of life style! Karen Hughes, the presidential envoy to the Middle East try to convey the American system of "liberty" to women and she fell flat on her face! Each society to its own....

Zoltan :

May-be the PostGlobal saw a difference between "sexy" and "sexualized" ?

"sexy" is like in "brazilian"

"sexualized" is like "prostitute"

I'm 39 and dad of 2 male sons (he he ...) and therefore I see child TV shows: some of them are really crass ! 6 year old girls singing and dancing like Moulin-Rouge strip-tease girls; Ads about "be just soooooo fashionable"; and worst of all, MTV: when I was 20, MTV was about hard-rock and alternative music, now it's soft porno, dumb looking boys in over-flashy cars, and lots of easy money, Dumbass, ...

Sexualized is not even sexy.

This is not about human nature, this is trash propaganda. Should be authorized only after 10 o'clock.


clk :

It is inevitable for children to want to wear sexy clothes and fool around. we cant do much to stop that. But we can try to educate them so they dont have to deal with permanent consequences to their typical adolescent behavior, such as a baby. Lets be honest, all of these indignant parents are more worried about their kids being knocked up than anything else. Unfortunately, due to the prevalence and influence of such right wing organizations as Focus on the Family, schools are only allowed to teach abstinence in health class. If it werent for these uptight and narrow-minded evangelicals, schools would be able to teach students about safe sex and about contraception, which we allow Mom and Dad's precious little Anna to prepare herself for the 21st century.

Hubbard :

Restrictions on dress or viewing ultimately are failed means of control over young females. A parental role is to give perspective over the entire development of one's life. A well-balanced young woman is probably not a person that is really appreciated appropriately during her teens and early twenties. There is never any shortage of males, only ones with structure and direction in their lives. Eventually, the intellgent ones catch up with realities and overcome hormones, and realize a non-objectivized partner is the winning match. Keeping young women intellectually engaged in creative pursuits and not distracted by cultural deadends is the challenge. Pretty much, the strong ones see this and are not too impressed by the cheap side of our culture. By: Dad of a college-aged daughter.

Shelley :

Sexualisation is in large part a problem we women have created ourselves. We are 50% of the world population and yet we constantly give up our bodies and minds in the belief that we aren't strong enough or smart enough to be accepted as we are. When I got divorced after 19 years of marriage I was still quite young (39) but very naive and terrified of how I was perceived by men. After many conversations and observations I realized that men aren't the problem so much as women ourselves and the competition we generate between ourselves - ultimately setting up our own traps. Women are extremely critical and judgemental and it drives the competition for a man's attention towards provocative dress and attitude. We do this to ourselves by refusing to believe that we are more than animals existing solely for a man's pleasure. There was a group of middle eastern women a few years ago that had trouble getting water from a well. In their culture it was a sin to have sex without washing first. The men were dragging their feet on fixing the problem so the women cut them off. Guess what, the problem was resolved. The flair up of sexualization is the result of the world wide view that women are still less than human. I'm not a militant feminist but the stories I read from around the world and in the US about how we let ourselves be treated tortures me because as a group we're not doing anything to correct our situation. Instead we rely on religious crap about being subservient etc, and less important than men. Unless there is a worldwide change in attitude regarding the roles and values of women AND men and how we are BOTH important, this problem will never go away.

Bernard :

Everyone is overly sexual by nature, that is how we keep the urge to reproduce. However, history shows there have always been problems when sexuality is allowed to run amok.

Moderation is always the answer, niether one extreme or the other. Just at a confortable place in the middle. Not a sexual beacon, nor sexually invisible.

This creates a better thought between the two sexes. one can come to a better conclusion about the other before sexual urges, due to high sexual precognition and exposure, cause the two to initiate intercourse and may cause unwanted offspring.

A child is not 100% responsible, that is part of the definition of a child. So allowing a child to dress in a way that may stimulate sexual contact is saying the child can be 100% percent responsible. This is not the case for either girls or guys, they are not considered reponsible until they are 18.

So having your child dress with modesty is actually following parental duties.

What parent would like to take care of her 16 year olds newborn so thier daughter can finish high school and having to find out if it was Bert, Ernie, or Timmy that actually fertilized the egg. (it will be years before any of them can be responsible emotionally of financially)

Moderating underage sexuality sounds like an extreme concept however, one of my friends daughters actaully dresses like that and they are finding written evidence of her having sex with over-age men, other girls and boys from school. This is not sitting well with them. They have always paid attention to her, took her on outings and were generally good parents. Now her daughters oversexuality is driving a wedge. The oversexuality came after the highly sexually dressing and makeup. Daughter was 14 when it started and is 16 now. They have to employ every technique just to keep tabs on her so she does not implement her little secret lifestyle until the law says she is legal to do so herself.

It's not as much as smothering a young girls personality as it is protecting her and completing reponsibilties as a parent. When she is 18 she may decide an irresponsible lifestye is what she wants and she can legally have it as long it the negatives only effect herself.
but, when under 18 the parents are responsible for all negatives to thier own and others caused ny thier own.

Moderation!

Discipline in one hand, understanding in the other.

Mom of 2 :

To Michelle's Mom:

I limited the Bratz dolls in our home to two that my daughter received as gifts. They look like their name--brats. Oversexed dolls. Barbie is bad enough, but these dolls just ooze a certain level of CFM (as in those heels). I can't believe those dolls actually gained the popularity they did. Yeah, let's teach our daughters how to role play being overtly sexual, sassy, and street wise. Yep. . that's the kind of play I want to see. . not.

DadOf2Girls :

Sexualized? I think it's more appropriate to relax our strained view on this 'adult' topic and merely say that we're letting our children take on adult roles at earlier and earlier ages.

I'm comfortable with saying that in the U.S., more parents are out of the home more, less involved with their children's activities and more responsibility is put on the kids.

They see other children get 'adult' responsibilities and then put the demands on parents who buckle and want to let their children have their 'freedom' to socialize and express themselves. Whether it's letting them out with friends at the mall, giving them their own cellphones, computers with Internet access in their room, iPods and iTunes gift cards to buy whatever songs they want.. it's just a matter of giving in. The more the parents give in, the more the children start acting and expecting adult treatment.

Unfortunately, sexuality comes into play as well. Dressing sexy draws attention...both wanted and unwanted alike. No matter how you inspect it, drawing the gaze of someone gives a feeling of power and control. The problem is controlling the unwanted attention.

Girls love to play 'dress-up' to imitate the women they see and try to attain the same power/respect/social circles. No one likes to be overlooked, so the 'dare to bare' aspect comes out. Some see it as only a risque competition, not understanding the underlying problem.

The more advertisers and the media convey the 'bad girl' images to our daughters, the faster it becomes the 'norm'. We're allowing this to take place because we don't want to be hated by our children and we don't want to allocate any more time out of our already-busy days to try to do the right thing. Some parents are doing the right thing but find it harder and harder to avoid 'keeping up with the Jones".

Boys are equally susceptible. Pants hanging off their waists, shirts showing as much of their bare chest or stomach as they can.. it's all about power. Who can look the most 'dangerous' and who looks toughest...

We need to help our kids develop and expose their individuality through their communication and presentation skills. For public schools, I think it'd be best achieved if they all looked alike. Standard uniforms is a great place to start. Many complain about school uniforms but no one complains that the athletic teams wear a standard uniform. We use one for sports, why not one for education?

Our programming needs a little more restriction. Less provocative ads during the hours our kids are awake (and yes.. I know, we can change the channel, use parental controls, etc but we're talking about programming on channels we thought to be 'kid-safe' like Disney, Nickelodeon, etc). It's about time that we stop being told we can turn the channel or not buy at a particular merchant simply because we don't agree to the content it displays. When we allow it to occur enough and it becomes prevalent and the 'norm', we have to walk through this world with our eyes closed and our hands over our ears just to avoid it.. and that's no way to live.

It's simply time for the parents to retake control of the influences in their children's lives in a manner that doesn't alienate them and leads to positive growth.

Melvyn Zahn :

I am not a right wing conservative. Let's get that straight. I am appalled by how my 15 year old grandaughter dresses for school. It seems like she is not alone. Either the schools need to make everyone wear a uniform or put a dress code in place. It is disgusting to see see young woman parade around the way they do.

DadOf2Girls :

Sexualized? I think it's more appropriate to relax our strained view on this 'adult' topic and merely say that we're letting our children take on adult roles at earlier and earlier ages.

I'm comfortable with saying that in the U.S., more parents are out of the home more, less involved with their children's activities and more responsibility is put on the kids.

They see other children get 'adult' responsibilities and then put the demands on parents who buckle and want to let their children have their 'freedom' to socialize and express themselves. Whether it's letting them out with friends at the mall, giving them their own cellphones, computers with Internet access in their room, iPods and iTunes gift cards to buy whatever songs they want.. it's just a matter of giving in. The more the parents give in, the more the children start acting and expecting adult treatment.

Unfortunately, sexuality comes into play as well. Dressing sexy draws attention...both wanted and unwanted alike. No matter how you inspect it, drawing the gaze of someone gives a feeling of power and control. The problem is controlling the unwanted attention.

Girls love to play 'dress-up' to imitate the women they see and try to attain the same power/respect/social circles. No one likes to be overlooked, so the 'dare to bare' aspect comes out. Some see it as only a risque competition, not understanding the underlying problem.

The more advertisers and the media convey the 'bad girl' images to our daughters, the faster it becomes the 'norm'. We're allowing this to take place because we don't want to be hated by our children and we don't want to allocate any more time out of our already-busy days to try to do the right thing. Some parents are doing the right thing but find it harder and harder to avoid 'keeping up with the Jones".

Boys are equally susceptible. Pants hanging off their waists, shirts showing as much of their bare chest or stomach as they can.. it's all about power. Who can look the most 'dangerous' and who looks toughest...

We need to help our kids develop and expose their individuality through their communication and presentation skills. For public schools, I think it'd be best achieved if they all looked alike. Standard uniforms is a great place to start. Many complain about school uniforms but no one complains that the athletic teams wear a standard uniform. We use one for sports, why not one for education?

Our programming needs a little more restriction. Less provocative ads during the hours our kids are awake (and yes.. I know, we can change the channel, use parental controls, etc but we're talking about programming on channels we thought to be 'kid-safe' like Disney, Nickelodeon, etc). It's about time that we stop being told we can turn the channel or not buy at a particular merchant simply because we don't agree to the content it displays. When we allow it to occur enough and it becomes prevalent and the 'norm', we have to walk through this world with our eyes closed and our hands over our ears just to avoid it.. and that's no way to live.

It's simply time for the parents to retake control of the influences in their children's lives in a manner that doesn't alienate them and leads to positive growth.

s :

The problem is that BOYS are and have been ALOUD to be oversexual for centuries.

Anonymous :

YES MEN HAVE DOUBLE STANDARDS!!! SOME MEN ARE RAISED THAT ITS OK TO LOOK A NAKED PICTURES OF WOMEN AND THAT MATURES INTO STRIP CLUBS AND PROSTITUTES LATER IN LIFE!! FOR SOME IT GOES INTO PREDATORS OF YOUNG CHILDREN WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

S :

Fathers need to start teaching their sons to keep their d!cks in their pants.

KarmaLysing :

Salamon - I'm curious... You say you've raised "three female daughters"... So, how many male daughters have you raised?

I think the "mainstreaming" of mental deficiency is a bigger threat to girls (and boys) than just about anything else, frankly...

suburban mom :

Yes, parents have more control than they realize. I am not talking about hiding your kid in a closet. But let's talk to our boys and girls about stereotypical images that are almost always slanted to favor men. Even my 3 year old has had conversations with us about characters in books. I ask, "Do you like to run around in the grass and play soccer? Isn't it weird how the author showed the girls all sitting down and watching as the boys play in the grass?" Let's invite our children to think for themselves.

The problem isn't that girls dress sexy. It is normal for girls and boys to want to attract one another. The problem is that starting at birth, girls are presented with stories and images that teach them that their net worth is dependent upon being sexually/romantically attractive to men. Take a look at "harmless" Disney stories. The princess/girl power marketing schemes are all about the marketers teaching girls to narrow their view of what it means to be a girl/woman. "girl power" is really the power to shop and attract men. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. But it is presented as the only way to achieve feminity. This is a lie that parents need to correct with alternative stories and images.

We don't let our daughters watch TV except for movies from the library. That will surely change as they get older. For now, we discuss the stereotypes we see, since these are the formative years. We will not be reading or watching any Disney princess stuff in our house. When they inevitably watch it/see it somewhere else, we will ask them to think about how girls and boys are portrayed.

Bill :

Kristen Barr:
Your posting reminded me of a bit in "My Cousin Vinnie" where the judge complements Vinnie on his objection as something like intellegent, logical, well grounded and then denied it. Not sure how you found your way to this thread of ridiculousness but your wisdom was a breath of fresh air. I hope you are in a position that you can influence many women, young and older.

DUKE :

I WOULD LIKE TO ADD MY TAKE ON THIS , I THINK FOR FAR TOO LONG WE AS A WHOLE HAVE ALLOWED THE FLAGRANT AND TOTALLY MISDIRECTED NEWS, PRESS, AND MARKETING WORLD TO DICTATE TO OUR CHILDREN JUST WHAT IS "IN", AND WHAT IS "OUT", WE HAVE WORKED LONG AND HARD AT ALLOWING OUR OWN OFF SPRING TO BECOME SO ENAMORED WITH THEMSELVES THAT NOW THAT ITS OUT OF CONTROL WE ARE WONDERING JUST HOW THE PARADE GOT OFF COURSE IN THE FIRST PLACE. WELL I CAN TELL YOU HOW, WE LET DONW OUR GUARD, THATS RIGHT "WE" AS IN THE PERVERBIAL "WE" YOU ME ALL OF US, WE ALLOWED THE MEDIA IN ALL ITS FORMS TO DECIDE WHAT "THE NORM" WAS GOING TO BE IN ALLOWING OUR CHILDREN AND THEM, "THEM MEANING THE MEDIA" IN ALL ITS FORMS TO TELL US, NO I CORRECT MYSELF TO DICTATE TO US WHAT THE CHILDREN WANT TO WEAR THIS YEAR TO SCHOOL, HOW SHORT THE SKIRTS ARE, HOW TIGHT THE SLACKS ARE, HOW HIGH ON THE BELLY THE MIDRIFT WAS GOING TO GO, HOW LOW THE WAIST LINE OF THOSE 90$ DESIGNER JEANS WERE GOING TO GET, ITS ALL A CASE OF "US" DROPPING THE BALL."WE" WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE PARENTS, WHAT HAPPENDED??? WELL WE WANTED OUR CHILDREN TO HAVE IT "BETTER" THAN WE DID, WE WANTED OUR CHILDREN TO HAVE IT JUST A BIT "EASIER" THAN WE HAD IT , I MEAN COME ON WE HAD DAD'S THAT DIDNT HESITATE FOR ONE HEARTBEAT TO STRIP OFF THAT LEATHER BELT AND MAKE SURE THAT WE ATTONED FOR THE DAYS MISDEEDS AS SOON AS OUR MEANY OLD HAG MOMS GOT THROUGH TELLING HIM WHY THE SCHOOL CALLED AND JUST WHERE WAS LITTLE JOHNNY THIS AFTERNOON CAUSE HE WASNT IN CLASS, WE GOT AWAY FORM THE WHOLE IT TAKES A WHOLE VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD MENTALLITY, YES I KNOW IT VERY CLISHE'ISH TO USE AFRICAN TERMINOLOGY TO DISCUSS THIS FORUM IN BUT I DONT CARE ABOUT THAT, AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENDED, WE BECAME MORE CONCERNED WITH WHAT THE MEDIA TOLD US WERE THE REAL ISSUES INSTEAD OF REMAINING TRUE TO OUR TRADIDTIONAL VALUES, WE DEFINED NEW VALUES THAT WERE FAR MORE LIBERAL AND A LOT MORE FUN TOO, EH??? WELL GUESS WHAT , ITS TIME TO PAY THE PIPER, IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING. WELL ENOUGH OF MY MEANDERING BABBLE, YOU TAKE A GOOD LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND IF YOU CAN HONESTLY SWEAR OFF TO NOT DOING, SAYING, ALLOWING, OR CONDONING ANY OF THE ABOVE MENTIONED ACTIONS , NOT EVEN A LITTLE WHITE BIT, THEN YOU EMAIL ME AND WE'LL MEET CAUSE I WOULD LOVE TO SHAKE YOUR HAND AS BEING THE ONE TRUE VOICE OF COMMON SENSE AND REASON AND PROBABLY THE ONLY PARENT ON THE PLANET THAT DID NOT JOIN THE PARADE THAT WENT OFF COURSE.
THANK YOU AND GOOD LUCK.
DUKE

Corinne :

Just have a look at some of the women’s magazines (Cosmopolitan, etc.). All they talk about is sex -- how to go after guys and how to please a man in bed. The message they are sending is that it’s more important to be sexually aggressive and be an acrobat in bed than get a good education and a career.

Kirsten Barr :

Throughout history women have used their sexuality to gain power, largely because it was all they had. As women have gained political and economic power there has been less need to use sexuality for economic gain. I think the men of our generation would subconsciously love to see us back on our backs but women must be strong. There is much temptation to backslide to what appears to be the easy road but we can compete with men on the level playing fields of business and politics so lets try to keep our self respect and and remember we have value as people, not as bodies!!!

griffithm :


I think that our country has sold out our most precious treasure,our children. Children should be allowed to be children. They are not miniature adults. Parents shouldn't allow their children to be "used" as sex symbols by our fashion industry or anyone else.Parents should boycott the "trashy" fashions. I told my daughter that she wasn't allowed to wear anything in public that she was ashamed for us to see her in. We have more than enough pedophiles in this world,no need to give them the "eye candy".Children shouldn't be made to feel that their self worth depends on how they look or dress. Parents need to be parents,take back the control over the things that children are too young to be exposed to.Parents,wake up for your kid's sake.

JoelB :

WICKED!! people use women and their natural beauty form for commercial and sensationalistic ends. It has always been soo, it the human drive.

Higher forms of thinking, higher than what you find in the gutter of humanity, tries to preserve the beauty of the human relaitonships, with constructive respect for life over the selfish drive for profit.

SHAME and misery upon the baser forms of humanity!!

A Pornographer :

Maybe a good study about when sexuality comes into play in both males and females would be better "suited".

Its not the clothes.
It's human nature.

Maybe more people should study what is harmful about sexuality or even study sexuality for that matter and what it is all about.

As for the Hysteria that fasion creates it is not so much the hysteria of people wearing the clothes so much as it is the hysteria of people complaining about it.

As far as the fasion industry finding young binge and purge unhealthy female teens and putting them in the glossy ad's for a marketing ploy... Well that just may infact be counter productive to not only the kids that wear the stuff but is most likely counter productive for the companies not catering to the overwelming majority of todays youth to make a buck.

Are our kids as fat as the health community writes about every day? Or are our kid's ready to grace the streets in the finest clothing best fit for the most famined people in the world?

Maybe its all a bigger picture where parent's are fearful of thier own children, not able to discpline them let alone tell there own children how to make good desicions when the larger society does nothing but intrude on family values in all its glory by insetting strong laws in child abuse, mistreatment and so forth.

There is nothing more enlightening than a good beating and the fear of god set in the eye's of an out of order child. It did me well in the long run and I thank my family today for it.

Where as...
Parent's just can not discipline there own children today. Different strokes for different folks is what they say but when the kid can retain an attorney of his or her own with an autodial on there cell phone its going to be hard time getting children in the right direction.

So if you do not like what your child wear's do something about, or stop whinning.

Erik :

I can't believe even one has to ask the question. Absolutely, girls are over sexulalized. I would tend to believe that those who don't think they are, more than likely, do not have a daughter. I am a 37 year old dad with an eleven year old daughter. I try my best to steer her in the right direction and to give her sound advice. But she and her peers are constantly bombarded by different media sources with programs, pictures and music sexualizing women and normalizing at risk behavior.
As I mentioned, I am 37 and by no means a prude. Some people might assume that the problem is with my or her mother's parenting skills. But unless you plan on locking your child in a closet, home schooling them, etc., you can count on them being inundated daily with numerous depictions of casual promiscuity as well as a enormous focus on self body image

Erik :

I can't believe even one has to ask the question. Absolutely, girls are over sexulalized. I would tend to believe that those who don't think they are, more than likely, do not have a daughter. I am a 37 year old dad with an eleven year old daughter. I try my best to steer her in the right direction and to give her sound advice. But she and her peers are constantly bombarded by different media sources with programs, pictures and music sexualizing women and normalizing at risk behavior.
As I mentioned, I am 37 and by no means a prude. Some people might assume that the problem is with my or her mother's parenting skills. But unless you plan on locking your child in a closet, home schooling them, etc., you can count on them being inundated daily with numerous depictions of casual promiscuity as well as a enormous focus on self body image

Anonymous :

How come there are so many pedophiles posting on here? They should be investigated. Leave our babies alone sickos!

Bill :

I think firms should have a convicted pedophile on salary to preview products to let them know which ones he really likes. Maybe that would shame them into reconsidering the things they put out there for us to consume.

c0d3h4x0r :

This entire issue just boils down to one thing: bad parenting. Good parenting is becoming a rarity. Most parents these days are either too afraid to be tough on their children or too lazy to keep up with their children.

I see so many spoiled brats who have clearly learned how to manipulate their parents (and the world) by pitching fits to get what they want. And I see so many parents who lamely say, "but what can I do? My child's a monster!" as if they've simply been cursed. The reality is that kids only get that way if parents haven't been doing their job from the start.

Parents, WAKE UP! YOU are supposed to be in control of your kids. And that control isn't just going to be handed to you -- you have to EARN it every step of the way. That's your job. That's half of what being a parent is all about. You have to be clear, firm, consistent, and harsh, because that's how kids learn boundaries.

If you are too lazy or stupid or unwilling to do that, then you never had any business being a parent in the first place, and you should be ashamed of yourself. If I ran the world, you'd have your kids taken away from you and given to parents who knew how to do the job right.

Free Thinker :

Some of you seem out of touch reality and lacking any understanding of human social evolution. Everything involving women, men and sex is all part of our developement and advancement as humans. It doesn't matter how we get there, just that we get there.

Here's a quarter, buy a clue.

erik little :

nothing should be done about it - it (attractive young ladies) should promoted.

I am tired of seeing girls that could be hot - show up and have "a pretty face" or say they are "big boned" - it is offensive.

put down the fork - run a little - make the world a better looking place and have it start with all of those "nice personality" types....

my eyes get tired working of over time trying to make sense of all of the obtuse and over fed women

Dr Roberts :

Let's face it. The world is sexually addicted. From priests to teachers to little girls, sexual addiction is encouraged at the very least. Remember sexy little John Benet Ramsey? Just think what would happen to the economy if sexual addiction was taboo. Selling make-up, fancy cars, stylish clothing, condoms, viagra, perfumes, etc. would be a lot more difficult if sexual addiction were not encouraged. Sex does kill by HIV and cervical cancer from HPV.

BobL-VA :

Sex sells. It's that simple. It's big business. Anyone who thinks any differently has to be blind. We sell everything from coffee to houses using sex. Then we wonder why it has filtered down to the younger members of our societies?

Michelle's mother :

I have a six year old daughter. She doesn't realize exactly what is going on, but she just wants to be sexy. She longs to wear short skirts and boots like those Bratz dolls. (We don't let her have those stupid dolls nor dress like a little tiny hooker.) She wants her ears pierced, her hair down so she can toss her head around, her fingernails deep red. (We don't let her do these.) The thing she wants most in the world? Makeup.

It is a struggle to raise a girl who isn't counter-struggling to present herself as a sexual object. No amount of talking to her about the value of being healthy, happy and nice can compete with some of the images she is exposed to. No, we do not let her watch television other than age-appropriate shows, but these images are everywhere. It is telling that the "banned" magazines in our house include most fashion and "women's" magazines.

It is difficult to raise a child with good judgement and the ability to make good personal choices when the messages she gets from society are that she should be someone who is clearly prepared to make a bad choice and make it now!

There is nothing wrong with sexual imagery - but there is something wrong when it is so pervasive that I can't keep it from affecting my children. There is especially something wrong when it invades the children's "space" in the form of toys and clothes so that one can not even successfuly argue that these things (like makeup) are something that grown ups use and kids do not.

PROUD TO BE A WOMAN :

We live in an over-sexed society anyway! Our kids are inundated with sexuality from very young and are taught all the wrong messages by society. Although sex is an important and enjoyable component to life, it is not/should not be the obsession everyone has made it out to be...look at the $ by the porn business on the internet and the destruction that comes from it! Our children are being hunted by perverts everyday and women are being raped in record numbers. Why is this acceptable?!

Thomas :

Actually, I think that very light-skinned girls are extremely hot (see Kidman, Nicole). Which is not to say that darker-skinned girls can't be very beautiful also. But, for my personal preference, I happen to like it light. White is really a great contrast color at a couple of "pretty-in-pink" points on the female body (probably the most delicious image in the universe). And, I don't think I'm the only one.....

gman :

Of course they are. I look at the way some of them dress. And then I say, “They didn’t look like that when I was in school.” But at the same time I think of how lucky I am not having daughters. How could parents let them out of the house even dressed that way? I work with a local cheerleading squad. Girls between 10 to 16 years of age. Last year we ran a fundraiser at a local sporting event. After the event I gather them together in the lobby. It was disgusting to see older (drunk) men gorking at them. Men old enough to be their fathers.

A few weeks ago I was at a buddies house. He has a 13-year-old son who was watching the Disney Channel. Has anyone looked at the Disney Channel lately? I was shocked at the way the young girls in the shows were dressed and portrayed. This wasn’t the Mickey Mouse club. It was more like watching late night cable.

LightSkinned20 :

No one wants light-skinned girls anymore. Girls have to be tan, latina, or half white/half black. It's a reality that is hard to face when you are fair-skinned and are against tanning because of the ill effects of it.
Oversexualized? I was a senior in high school and found out about a freshman gave oral to five yes FIVE boys on the basketball team in the gym. I told a counselor and she ended up contracting an STD in her mouth. Now thats overly-sexualized. But maybe it's the boys fault for putting so much pressure on young girls these days. Can't they be gentleman and not expect us to give it up so fast?

Van :

The reason that we are here is because we have been "Sexploited" by having to procreate.

How many ways and how many times a day do our young folks see how they "should" dress? Ya think like many more than what was available 30 years ago?

Yep, guys are looking at attractve (in the eye of the beholder) girls, woman for one thing sex. can't help it. Beauty is only skin deep, it is what is in the heart that counts, bull! That comes later in a relationship, we hope!

Don't lament that the "good Girl" days are gone forever. Just try to understand that it will get better (or worse if that is the way you think) because there will be many more ways for humans to see what others are doing, everywhere.

For the younger generation it really is good parenting that will count and keep things "under control", but there is just so much that we can do. Ride to the bus stop some morning after your daughter or son have left the house after you have had a fight with them over their clothes or makeup. Check it out! You probably did the same at their age.

Michael :

"It's a travesty, the good get burned.
For integrity's sake, don't be concerned."
Every industry ties to selling products as much "taboo" and "allurement" as possible.
This gets attention, and piques interest.
It is a steady climb to complete dismissal of all
ethic, moral, and acceptable beliefs.
But thats just it: Acceptable belief as regulated by who? And for what purpose?
Simply to degenerate humanity to a base level of complacency and succeptability to control.
It's only about the product, and selling it.
Sure, the product's are junk, and the sleazy way they are represented is blatant sexual overkill.
But our selfish greed for titillating knowledge is human nature, albeit immature, and forbidden desires only fuel more aggressive behavior at getting it. Get thee to a nunnery, sister! Hide your shamefull beguilment! Yeah, cut your nose off if you smell something bad. We are, just animals.

uniforlife :

Uniforms in all public schools for all students will help curb the issue and make everyone realize we are all equal!!! Allowing girls to wear whatever Brittany Spears is wearing is ruining their lives and images.

Jon :

I live in the US, and from my perspective this may be the most obvious
question ever asked. The illegitimacy rate in the US is 40%. In some
communities this rate is 70-90%. In fairness the boys are oversexed too,
and not remotely thinking about marriage and settling down. But
traditionally girls/women have restrained the men. It is obvious that all
the traditional restraints have been removed. Newsweek just had an article
about Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and others who define
young femininity in America. That is, sadly, our culture. Lord help us.

In order to fix this problem one of two things would have to happen. One,
we would need a spiritual revival in the land. When people actually believe
in Jesus Christ it changes their heart to the point where they can resist
the prevailing culture. This cultural restraint worked for a long time in
America; I cannot speak for other religions that have similar restraints.

Barring a spiritual revival, the government would have to radically change
its welfare policies such that there were real and painful consequences to
pre-marital sex. This problem of over-sexed and libertine young ladies was
not a problem 50-100 years ago, so why does it exist in American culture
today? Because the government subsidies licentiousness. The government
gives money to single parents, the government subsides abortion (which is
a rather brutal eraser of pre-marital consequences), and the government
forces men to pay child support. (I'm not suggesting men are not culpable
-- only suggesting that child support is an enabler, and when it is not
available women have a very powerful incentive to act with modesty and
restraint.) If these policies were implemented (I'm not deluded enough to
think they will be, but if they were) the glamour of pre-marital sex would
be diminished because of the grave consequences. Of course Paris Hilton and
Madonna could do what they wanted, but economic realities would clearly
reduce immoral behavior.

Anonymous :

Because parents in the US are doing less and less on teach there children "family values" and teenagers becoming parents these days at 15-16 yrs old, we can see why girls are seen to be overly sexualized cause the have no morals to stay what is right or wrong (look at Britney Spears)... Alot can be said about how media idolizes the wrong elements which children see to be mainstream. Parents in Middle America are to busy working 2-3 jobs to even notice what there kids are doing, as well as teens bring babies in the world to show that they did "something amazing", then have there parents take care of there babies....

Marta :

We need to teach young girls and boys that sex is for adults.
It's ironic that their sexuality peaks at an age when they're far too young to understand the long-term emotional, physical and medical repercussions of being sexually active.
The media could help a lot by cutting down on the hypersexualized pre-teen imagery.

Anonymous :

Rephrasing your question for comical value: "Do you have "prosti-tots" in your neighborhood?"

Is a frog's butt watertight?

This is a sickening trend everywhere in America right now.

This all started years and years ago, and has slowly crept along from '80's "short shorts," to parents allowing their teen girls to go to the beach in a postage stamp, to companies printing their brand names onto the rearends of girls pants; to shirts that are cut specifically to draw attention to cleavage; to shirts that (while they don't show alot of skin) they draw yet more attention to the same region by way of fabric cuts, pleats, and skin tight fabric, to parents allowing their tweens go out with more make-up than Tammy Faye Baker, to whatever's next.

I hate to say it but it's no wonder there are more sickos than ever getting busted trolling for children! These sickos have a point in that if teen girls start dressing like prostitutes, it's not going to be long before they start acting like them as well.

We're already seeing a desensitization of our longest held cultural taboos like prositution (HBO's "Cat House"), homosexuality (Bravo and MTV are big offenders here, to the point that The Real World is guaranteed one homosexual in every season even though they don't make up even close to 1/7 of the total U.S. population), to sodomy (see also today's article circulating MSNBC), to polygamy (HBO's "Big Love"). How long before the North American Man-Boy Love Association (no, they aren't a myth- they really exist) starts claiming pedophilia is not only acceptable behavior, but also a sexual preference like homosexuality and therefore "WE'RE HERE, WE'RE PEDOS, GET USED TO IT!"

Before the inevitable person gets on here and decides to respond with "How dare you compare clothing to pedophilia," the two issues are each tied enexorably to the other in that they both involve sexualization of children. It's a slippery slope that we shouldn't be starting to go down in the first place.

I recently heard one of the cast of the "Arbitron rated #1" Tampa Bay area local morning show (which is also broadcast into St. Louis and Jacksonville) calling someone a closed minded idiot because they didn't think it was right for the Largo, Fl. city manager to have a sex change and keep his job.

ARE WE TO THE POINT THAT WE ARE FORCABLY MADE TO ACCEPT EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN EVEN IF WE DON'T BELIEVE IT'S CULTURALLY, MORALLY, OR PHILISOPHICALLY RIGHT?

"Hey, if it makes you feel good..." What happens when a pedophile says it makes him feel good to do what he or she did to YOUR child? Is it "right" then? Oh, but that's different! NO IT ISN'T! Abbhorent behavior is abbhorent behavior, be it dressing your child like a prostitute or acting on the urges brought about by the girls dressed like prostitutes! There's a point where a parent may be at least partially to blame.

There's no "Well look at how she was dressed, she wanted it" defense for rape, but if you know that's how rapists think don't you agree that you should at least try to tread on the "safe side?"

Back to the topic at hand, enough with the "prosti-tots" already! It's time we as parents put our foot down and make the fashion industry know we're not buying this garbage for our little girls and starting down this slippery slope!

Donna A. Reuter :

Yes. The medium to blame is the entertainment industry degradation of civility in the last 25 years.

Children parrot everything and what they are seeing on videos, movies, television, and advertising is deplorable and borders on soft-porn. It takes a village to raise a child and the entertainment industry has become the village reprobate.

The way the entertainment/advertisment industry portrays the United States as an amoral/violent country due to the lack a civility reflected in popular entertainment is part of the equation that provoked the attacks on 9/11. What gets me angry at the entainment industry is their absolute refusal to answer the call to duty like after World War II.

The entertainment industry needs to develop morals again. Bring back the Hayes Commission.

Jon :

I live in the US, and from my perspective this may be the most obvious
question ever asked. The illegitimacy rate in the US is 40%. In some
communities this rate is 70-90%. In fairness the boys are oversexed too,
and not remotely thinking about marriage and settling down. But
traditionally girls/women have restrained the men. It is obvious that all
the traditional restraints have been removed. Newsweek just had an article
about Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and others who define
young femininity in America. That is, sadly, our culture. Lord help us.

Dan Chesire, LISW, LCSW, Ph.D. :

For myself, I do not believe that light-skinned versus dark-skinned complexions determine beauty, I think that culture in small groups or communities determines archetypes for beauty that people, generally, adhere to.

In the totality of culture, I think that some media depictions inappropriately sexualize children, both boys and girls; specifically, the graphic presentation of some material is can be objectively measured to represent how a female child or a male child, can be "adultified" or sexualized.

For instance, recently Madonna was said to view her own daughter as having dressed or dressing in ways inappropriate for her age.

Another example is the frequent language of parents and children on "dates."

Very Truly Yours,

Dan

J.D. Chesire, LISW, LCSW, Ph.D.

DM :

First off, I agree with NL that "Murph" should be investigated. It seems that the world is going crazy! There are way too many pedofiles, rapes and complete disregard for humanity in these times. It didn't seem this bad when I was a teenager growing up. What are these skantily clad girls and women thinking? Apparently, they're not thinking. Men will look, but not for the right reasons. Some are probably lusting after them, but that's not a compliment and not the kind of attention a smart girl should want. And, why do schools, stores and even business offices accept this kind of dress? I don't understand it. I'm a fairly young-minded 50 year old lady. Let me emphasize the word "lady". I believe that is what's missing from many of today's young women. No one has taught them to act and dress like ladies, and behave with some class. Everyday of the week, I catch myself shaking my head at the outfits I see at work, in stores ... everywhere you go! I'm never surprised, but always amazed.

Ashfaq :

In the U.S. as well as in other parts of the world, the western media in conjunction with their overseas counterparts has propagated the exploitation of women through sex. The image promotes the objectification of women by glorifying the physical aspects of those women they seem to be the most desired and discouraging the undesirable aspects. Women are always portrayed in a sexual manner with hardly much notice given to any other aspect of their persona.

Chris, Wisconsin :

Are young girls being sexualized?

First and foremost, this responsibility lies with the parent(s). It's the parent's job to provide appropriate clothing and to have the right conversations with their daughter. Too often, adults underestimate the ability for children - even young children - to understand and comprehend at a level far beyond their age in years.

Simply be honest with your children and have frank, open discussions with them - at any age. The results are astounding.

My daughter is 10 years old and doesn't even have pierced ears yet. Because I point it out to her and discuss it with her, she understands the marketing schemes and tactics of the fashion industry and the media toward young females...and she finds them offensive. Her entire wardrobe is purchased from Lands End and Hanna Andersson. When she has money of her own to spend on clothes, her purchases still require my (her mother's) approval...and always will until she is 18. That's an agreement we made when she was 8 years old. It's not forever, just until she's 18 and we both view it as fair and equitable.

The impossible task here is to change the American view and culture of sex/attractiveness/desirability and how the media and various industries fuel that perspective.

What is well within our control, however, is how much we are a part of the daily lives of our children and to be ever-conscious of the messages we are sending to them.

It's all about consistent, dedicated parental involvement. Period.

Colette :

Lighter skin? In Hawaii it's tan and sexy as too many girls are observed to be striving toward. We can blame the media and all the marketing influences, but we need to first be bluntly told to look at ourselves as parents and adult guardians first and foremost.

It's a parent's, especially mother's, responsibility to steer a daughter's interest toward other developmental interests such as classical music, classical dance, sports, and academics rather than encouraging her to be worldly about the opposite sex. If a mother, even if deprived of an appreciation for such cultural interests in her early years, would be responsible enough to want these things for her child, at least her daughter has a fighting chance to develop first as a human being with greater goals other than her physical appearance and the opposite sex.

In other words, parents are very much a key to a girl's development of values and self-esteem.

swann p :

As the mother of two young daughters, it's known in our house what's acceptable and what's "TV." Both of my daughters like to dress fashionably, (both have a more athletic sense of style as they're both athletes and academics) but also know what their father and I would deem inappropriate. Thankfully, they are also both more modest than most of their peers. I truly believe this is a function of parenting. Neither of our children were allowed, (and in our nine year old's case, still is not allowed) to watch age-inappropriate TV or movies.

When will we as a country see that the upbringing of our children is the parents' responsibility. I abhor censorship. Government should not tell any of us how to raise our children. My girls are relatively naive in the "sexploitation" of our culture and I've crafted it that way. That's my job. My 13 year old will still call me when she's over at a friend's house to ask if it's okay that she watch a movie that she's unsure of my opinion. I typically don't say no (unless it's truly inappropriate and her friends' parents are generally not over-the-top) because she's showing so much respect for us.

I'm her mother. I'm not a teenage friend. She knows I love her and care. I know we will have a great friend relationship as she becomes an adult because we established the right basis for us.

jeksfcusa :

I've been on this planed for 69 yrs. Seen just about every manner of dress available. All people are fashion concious. Unless of course they have been living in a darkened closet or under a rock. Designers set the trend and some make a different statement than others. There are many fashions that I, personally, find repulsive. If the girls want to show the navel so what? You see more at a European Beach and some here in this country. Punkers want to wear spikes. Go for it. Rappers want to show the crack between the buttocks and the crotch of the trousers, many sizes to large, around their knees. You look ridiculous but I don't care. If it feels good do it. It does not incite Rape you Liberal Puritans out there in La La land. Just don't look. It is not an infringement on your rights. Forcing someone to wear it is. I love going to the Mall to just have a good laugh at the young morons who bow to the peer pressure of wearing those rags. Celebrities, young ones, do it because sex sells. I have seen girls sold by their parents in the far east just so they can survive. At least it is not done in America. Oh yes! Bye the Bye if you don't like it here you are welcome to leave I'll help buy your ticket. I came here as a child served in its Forces for 233yrs and have two children and three grandchildren. That means 1st and 2d Generation Born. My revenge is Complete.
John E. Kershaw U.S.Army retired. Armed Forces Retirement Home Washington D.C. The Capitol of the Finest country on the Planet. Next to the UK of course.

S Srinivasan :

Bill Mahr, in his HBO show, joked how it's nn longer easy to distinguish between a prostitute and an ordinary woman, just by the way they address. I think it's true.

No Name :

Generally speaking, I feel our biggest problem (as a country) is that we approve of anything and everything that makes a buck.

From cop-killer bullets to more porn on the web to these disgusting 'My Scene' dolls (that look like little prostitutes), we too often approve of things simply because they're profitable. Moreover, we celebrate people who make lots of money - and won't rebuke them until they've totally crashed (think of Britney Spears - she's only recently come under fire for behavior that's been occurring for a long time).

This country is going to have to wake up and realize that in the hunt for more money, more stuff, more HDTVs, more SUVs, etc we're investing less and less into our kids and society as a whole.

Soon, China's economy will come on line, and we'll be surpassed - leaving us not only without the wealth we seem to believe is some kind of God-given right - but also morally bankrupt as well.

The sexualization of our kids is done in the name of profit - end of story. If human hormones failed to work as they do, we would see a shift in this behavior to some other aspect of our personalities. It's really disgusting.

We had better wake up soon...

Sundog :

Are young girls overly sexualized?

Like we have to ask that question? Has anyone looked at the dolls being sold? People used to complain about the unrealistic size and beauty standards of Barby. She's a conservative dream next to the Porn Star posables that pass for dolls these days. Bratz? Nasty little things, all look like Young Seika from the 70s. I have to be really careful with satellite television, because you never know when the graphic advertisments of Girls Gone Vile videos will come on and flash buttocks and twisted tongue kissing right in your face. Young college girls shown for a few seconds sliding on a greased pole that resembles a large penis?

And the sad part is, when you are young, an adolescent, you see the glamourous flirtations. You see the pretty makeup and the flashy clothes and these are attractive. Maybe not tasteful but these advertisements and cultures are promoting beautiful bodies that trade on one commodity, which is sex.

No one warns you about the hangovers, the stds, the rumors, the unwanted pregnancies, the judgement that will be heaped upon a girl when she enters into this world that revolves completely around her sexual viability and sexual availability.

And when you are older, and you complain, you sound like an old stuffed shirt. No matter how good your arguement or point, you just sound like some old prude whining about risque dances of Elvis the Pelvis. Because the slick, pornafied marketing is so good, that any resistance seems the work of the severely sexually inhibited.

Its not porn, its art, its fashion, its hip-culture. No one ever mentions that the slang-word hip was from "to lie on the hip" in opium dens. Prostitutes aren't these worn out, sore, oppressed women, they are sex-workers, they have the power to heal the disaffected. They are not portrayed as these rental horses that only know one route, which is run, not walk, back to the stable.

So yea, little girls are not safe. They are moving targets of a pedophilic fashion and toy industry. They are commodities for the dvd industry.

When they come of age, because they are girls, experimenting with sex, they are not entitled to privacy. They must be filmed for the salacious pleasure of men and some women around the world who want to watch what they missed out on. The sexual revolution was a bust.

We havent gone forward as women and girls. WE have only sunk deeper into the mud. Otherwise we would have true sexual freedom and safety, rather than being poster children for freaks everywhere.

If women were truly powerful, we would be more interested in Nancy Pelosi and Hilary Clinton, and not obsessed with the legal case of a dead stripper. If we were truly powerful, women would be better informed about their health care options, and not at the mercy of every so called conscientious pharmacy tech. Our health care issues would be clear and not equated with the mysteries of outer space. And our girls could tell that power does not come to a woman, ONLY when she is flashing a boob or on her back. Breast feeding would not be considered an act of public indecency.
Yep! You've come far baby, right down that greased pole!
sun.da.wg@hotmail.com

Disgusted Beyond Belief :

I find it fascinating how dressing in such a way that exposes female skin is instantly equated with being a prostitute. Again, these are puritan sexual hangups, not reality.

Let me ask this - do you think all nudists are prostitutes?

We only equate showing skin with rampant sexuality because of puritanism. In non-puritan societies, showing skin does NOT equal sex. Nudity does NOT equal sex. But people here are brainwashed from birth with the notion that you can't show skin (if you're a girl, that is) because that is advertising sex and is only about sex. Guess what - that ain't necessarily so.

James Crafford :

I am a child of the so-called 60s: free love, drugs and the rest of it and yet I find myself
shocked and appalled at the way teenagers and underage females dress these days. One trip to the local mall is the near equivalent of a strip joint. To make matters worse, their mothers are walking beside them dressed in a similar manner.
Talk about mixed messages. I am hoping the pendulum will swing back to a more elegant presentation of attire; meanwhile, the envelope has been pushed to the max.

berry, ecuador :

I certainly prefer western values here!! i.e. freedom.

I prefer a society where girls -and women in general, and boys, and men- can wear WHAT they like, WHERE they like, and WHEN they like, whether it be jeans and t-shirts, suits, miniskirsts, boots, bikinis or whatever. What is wrong with that?

And what is the alternative? Burkas? Nun's habits for everyone? Navy uniforms for everyone?

Instead of discussing sexy dresses, we should be talking about real problems that affect the young around the world: who am I? why are my parents poor -or fighting, or separated or dead? why do I have to work instead of play or study? why is it that no-one listens to me? is there any hope for my future?

kathat0 :

Young girls sexualized? Yes indeed. But take a good look at the adults they are emulating. It's like everything else with children, they don't do as you say, they do as you do. Everywhere I go I see grown women of various ages parading around town with their breasts, lower abdomens and butt cracks exposed for all to see. They get stares and attention just like the celebrities do...and they don''t realize that it is better to get attention from your accomplishments and who you are instead of for how much skin you are willing to share with strangers and be the local freakshow.

Lily :

With the oversexualization of young girls in America, there are bound to be unwanted pregnancies. However, the people who want abortion banned also are against sex education, and often will not teach their children themselves. Don't they realize that teaching girls HOW to avoid getting pregnant can prevent needing an abortion? I don't care how good your little girl is, a boy telling her he loves her and sex is the only way to prove it is going to push her over. I personally would rather have my daughter on birth control than having to make a choice about having a baby or an abortion in her teens. I've made it clear I do not approve of her having sex, but I don't want her in "trouble" either. Not teaching sex education does not stop children from learning about sex. What do we want - children learning misinformation from their peers, or learning the whole truth and then encouraging them to abstain. And we cannot rely on schools to do it right, the parents must be involved. But just refusing to teach children about sex and the possible consequences - or simply telling them abstaining is the only choice, that will not stop them from having sex.

highwayscribery, Los Angeles, http://highwayscribery.blogspot.com :

Here in Los Angeles, I think it's fair to say the young girls have plenty of sex, and thank heaven. the scribe won't get into whether they're having too much sex, because that's a little hard to determine. He knows the Paris Hilton approach undermines the creation of public, proper little ladies to ravish in private, but has never gone in for sexual repression because of how damaging it can be to the psyche. It is true, you know: "Girls just wanna have fun."
(beat)
And naturally, the stick blonde is an enduring female archetype cranked out by Hollywood, but there is always room for the Ann Hathaways ("The Devil Wears Prada") and Jennifer Hudsons ("Dream Girls") of the world. Mass media certainly play a role in our conjuring a personal female idyll, but sexual studies teach us there are many other formative factors.

nl :

I think Murph needs to be investigated.

MJ :

I find it shocking that parents help their young girls to dress like prostitutes. Since it's unlikely that a 10-12 year old has a job, who pays for the inappropriate attire? The parents, that's who. Parent's need to grow a spine and start acting like they are in charge. Just because a child pitches a fit doesn't mean you have to give in. "Because I said so" needs to be returned to the parental vocabulary.

TR :

I am 31 years old, and I have no children. To be honest, I am terrified of having a daughter. Part of me does not even want to have a daughter. The war on the minds and hearts of girls begins when they are toddlers.

The rush to indoctrinate children (girls especially) with some kind of slanted worldview is begining earlier and earlier. It's not simply about sex. It is about how they are suppose to view themselves 'as women'. So yes, it's not just marketers, but some of these feminist, also.

And for those that want to blame it all on bad parenting, get a clue. Have you ever tried to monitor all the messages a teen or tween recieves on a weekly basis? How about when you live in a state like California that passes laws that say your underage daughter can get an abortion without consulting you. This is not about the abortion issue, rather the intrusive nature of the surgery. If the state tells her she is mature enought to make a decision like that on her own then what message is that sending about her 'need' for parental guidance at all?

Once again, it's not about abortion. It is about the seriousness of getting the procedure and the fact that California says a parent,s guidance is not needed and a 14 year old can weigh all the prons and cons effectively.

Anonymous :

I don't think adult sexuality is in question here, Disgusted. Nor do I think children need exposed to sexuality to *gasp grow up to be sexual. It's a progressive process which is neither necessary nor healthy in early childhood. Children, by virtue of biology, are not sexual in nature until puberty. Unlike adults, children are not aware of the associated risks of sex...like teenage pregnancy, STD's, AIDS that could effectively destroy their future... and do not have a fully functioning system of reasoning that negates the message society is sending them through commercial ads and related attitudes that 'sex is okay'. Adults drive cars, have full time jobs, raise children. One day our children will do the same. That does not mean we should impose these responsibilities on them when they are children. The same logic applies to sexuality.
Further, parents need to assume the responsibility of our irresposonsible society and NOT buy the underwear-exposing skirts and shirts claiming 'Come And Get It' made in size 6x. Perhaps it is an overwhelming naivity that allows an otherwise sensible adult to dress up an innocent child as a target. It is ultimately the decision of the adult, the parent that either exposes or protects the child.

Anonymous :

Tan women are the best looking. "White" skin is ugly to look at. Looks like a plucked chicken.

R T :

I don't think adult sexuality is in question here, Disgusted. Nor do I think children need exposed to sexuality to *gasp grow up to be sexual. It's a progressive process which is neither necessary nor healthy in early childhood. Children, by virtue of biology, are not sexual in nature until puberty. Unlike adults, children are not aware of the associated risks of sex...like teenage pregnancy, STD's, AIDS that could effectively destroy their future... and do not have a fully functioning system of reasoning that negates the message society is sending them through commercial ads and related attitudes that 'sex is okay'. Adults drive cars, have full time jobs, raise children. One day our children will do the same. That does not mean we should impose these responsibilities on them when they are children. The same logic applies to sexuality.
Further, parents need to assume the responsibility of our irresposonsible society and NOT buy the underwear-exposing skirts and shirts claiming 'Come And Get It' made in size 6x. Perhaps it is an overwhelming naivity that allows an otherwise sensible adult to dress up an innocent child as a target. It is ultimately the decision of the adult, the parent that either exposes or protects the child.

ALR :

I don't think adult sexuality is in question here, Disgusted. Nor do I think children need exposed to sexuality to *gasp grow up to be sexual. It's a progressive process which is neither necessary nor healthy in early childhood. Children, by virtue of biology, are not sexual in nature until puberty. Unlike adults, children are not aware of the associated risks of sex...like teenage pregnancy, STD's, AIDS that could effectively destroy their future... and do not have a fully functioning system of reasoning that negates the message society is sending them through commercial ads and related attitudes that 'sex is okay'. Adults drive cars, have full time jobs, raise children. One day our children will do the same. That does not mean we should impose these responsibilities on them when they are children. The same logic applies to sexuality.
Further, parents need to assume the responsibility of our irresposonsible society and NOT buy the underwear-exposing skirts and shirts claiming 'Come And Get It' made in size 6x. Perhaps it is an overwhelming naivity that allows an otherwise sensible adult to dress up an innocent child as a target. It is ultimately the decision of the adult, the parent that either exposes or protects the child.

Anonymous :

I don't think adult sexuality is in question here, Disgusted. Nor do I think children need exposed to sexuality to *gasp grow up to be sexual. It's a progressive process which is neither necessary nor healthy in early childhood. Children, by virtue of biology, are not sexual in nature until puberty. Unlike adults, children are not aware of the associated risks of sex...like teenage pregnancy, STD's, AIDS that could effectively destroy their future... and do not have a fully functioning system of reasoning that negates the message society is sending them through commercial ads and related attitudes that 'sex is okay'. Adults drive cars, have full time jobs, raise children. One day our children will do the same. That does not mean we should impose these responsibilities on them when they are children. The same logic applies to sexuality.
Further, parents need to assume the responsibility of our irresposonsible society and NOT buy the underwear-exposing skirts and shirts claiming 'Come And Get It' made in size 6x. Perhaps it is an overwhelming naivity that allows an otherwise sensible adult to dress up an innocent child as a target. It is ultimately the decision of the adult, the parent that either exposes or protects the child.

Brenda :

When I look at the fashions for little girls I want to cry. And when I realize that their mothers actually buy them and parade their pre-elementary school daughters around like only cheap prostitutes dressed 20 years ago, I do cry.
Think Mothers you are giving those pedophiles something to fantsize about.

Murf :

Younger girls are not sexualized enough where I live. They need to show more skin than they do. It's much more pleasant to look at sexy young girls than trying to make older unattractive women look sexy. Plus it can give a girl a lot of self confidence for her future if she feels more attractive. For girls that are too fat, more programs should be available to allow them to trim up vs. people telling them its ok to be overweight. And parents/teachers should be held accountable if they let girls eat fattening foods and don't exercise them enough.


Justin :

I'm surprised this is even a topic, as it is common knowledge. Of course they are oversexualized, take a walk around the mall.

Trista :

As long as schools allow the clothing and parents to buy the clothing that young girls look like a pedophiles dream in - the problem will go on. My nieces attended a school in Reno, Nevada where showing bellies and the "super low" cut pants was not allowed and they were forced to put on a long T-Shirt or sent home for violating the rule. I am all for this. Pre-teen girls in local schools are dressing like Paris Hilton at the age of 11 and 12. I know it is very difficult when a girl does not dress like others in her peer group, and she can endure much teasing and bullying, but as long as parents and schools keep allowing girls who have barely reached puberty to dress in this fashion, with their pants worn so low they nearly need a bikini wax {if they even have anything to wax yet!}, the problem continues.

And instead of just banning anorexic fashion models, how about discouraging the designers from making clothing that *only fits* anorexic models. Thank goodness the trend this year seems to be heading back to a more modest type of clothing.

S. Alinsky :

I am so sick of hearing "parental control" and "it's the parents responsiblity".. yeah, it's the parents responsiblity to get this crap off the tv, internet, billboards and magazines. The media overwhelms kids with their messages. Saturday mornign cartoons, billboards, magazines.. and even if I don't let my kid watch ANY tv, or read any magazines, they now have TV programs (with commercials) every morning at school.

No. You cannot blame parents for their children living in a polluted environment. They dumped the toxic waste that is Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Bratz dolls, Paris Hilton, etc.. into our world and now our kids have a type of cancer.

Change the environment and you'll change the individual.

John :

Bratz. Nuff said.

Disgusted Beyond Belief :

Wow, wazzucug, that's quite a horrid picture you paint there. Society is collapsing all because women are showing too much skin.

Where did I ever say "if it feels good, do it" - that is something the right likes to chant as a nice straw-man mantra.

I merely pointed out that we are sexual beings, we always have been, we always will be, and it has nothing to do with what Paris Hilton does or does not do.

As someone else pointed out, there seems to be no concern whatsoever with male sexuality, only female. That right there tells me something.

And did it ever occur to you that perhaps the best way to inoculate against sexual advertising is to raise sexually aware, sexually healthy children, rather than sexually inuslated and ignorant children? I'd think someone never exposed to sex at all is far more vulnerable to sexual messages than someone who is educated about sex. And no, I'm not advocating sexual activity among children, just education. And no, I'm not advocating "if it feels good, do it" - I'll leave you to that advocacy.

I'm terribly amused how every generation seems to enjoy screaming how society is collapsing based on the sexuality of young women. Get over it. I think this shows more about the screamer's insecurity about sexual matters (and desire to dominate and control those of the female sex) than it does about any imminent societal collapse.

Shayna :

Lets just say that I am sooooo happy I have sons and not daughters, at least the clothes they make for boys these days dont have a message that says "Pedophiles come get me" like the little girls clothes do. And what are up with the Bratz dolls???

WazzuCoug :

I always love it when someone--generally in a condescending tone--makes a "it's only natural so get over it" argument (see, e.g., Disgusted Beyond Belief post, supra). The problem with this "leave it to nature" argument is that society has set behavioral norms for itself so as to make the environment more conducive to mass societal living. If those norms are reduced to the level of animal instinct (i.e., if it feels good, do it), then they aren't normative values at all. Animals will steal the food right out of each other's mouths. That's survival at work and is analogus to the deserted island hypothetical that Disgusted employs to support his or her argument--we're nothing more than the sum of our animal instincts.

Personally, I'd have a problem in Disgusted's society because while I'm big, fast and smart enough to take advantage of a lot of people, I'm sure there are others out there who could repay me the favor in spades. I'm not quite certain Disgusted would be so inclined to "let nature take its course" if that meant I could take anything I wanted from him or her--especially forcible sex.

This society seems hell-bent to "sex" up everything earlier and earlier. To me, one of the most insipid examples of this is the hotpant-length shorts that have words emblazoned across the buttocks. It's bad enough that the herd mentality many of the previous posters spoke of above has turned half of society into walking billboards; creating a generation of children who are happy to pay twice as much for the honor to give Abercrombie or Old Navy free advertising. It's ten-times worse when the "advertising" is displayed on the article of clothing in such a manner that its sole purpose--beyond getting the name out there in front of the other lemmings--is to draw attention to the person (generally a girl since this form of suggestive clothing is most often manufactured for young girls) not as a person but as a sexual object.

I am raising two daughters and a son, all under 12 years old. I will do everything within my power to make certain they are protected from Disgusted's world for as long as I possibly can because that's a world that is destined for self-destruction. I'm not talking in biblical terms, I'm talking about a society destroying itself because it is based in egocentricity. Disgusted's world is a dog-eat-dog, it's all about me, if it feels good I'm going to do it, consequences be damned place. It certainly is no place for a child.

Disgusted's view of sex and of sexual development is not healthy for girls, boys or for society as a whole. Shame on those who think otherwise.

WGT :

If everyone would have spend most of their time having sex, they wouldn't have enough time to make war and invade other persons privacy.
Beauty is in the heart not the skin.

Adrian :

This has to be the most stupid question i have ever heard, are young girls overly sexual? Lets see, where do i begin? lets start at the beginning, PARENTAL CONTROL: Parents today are not parents, their friends and as such basically they do not think they should be parenting or even if they did want to be a parent they don't have a clue. Children these days for the most part raise themselves since almost every household in this country has (2) working adults and very little time to concern ourselves with children. So the answer to your question is YES young girls are totally overly sexual and who's to blame for that? STUPID PARENTS BREEDING CHILDREN WITH NO RESPECT FOR THEMSELVES OR ANYONE ELSE!

from the coast;an observer :

How do we always get into these over simplified views of american life? This country is so diverse right down to the attitude of each region -to each little town.
What might be excepted fasion for young girls or preferance of features of the body or behavior in one place does not mean the entire nation is the same.Crazy talk.

rwcole :

I suppose we worry more about the sexuality of girls cause we take the sexuality of boys for granted and figure that the only prayer we have is for girls to keep their legs crossed- of course they never have- and they never will.

rwcole :

Interesting that no one is concerned about the "sexualization" of young boys. Guess young boys are just interested in marbles and puppies.

jzk :

Four 4-6 year old girls, the clothing choices at places like Kohl's, Target, Limited Too, Gap, etc. are repulsive. I spent a day attempting to find warm weather play clothes for my daughter and found only two outfits that weren't pint-sized versions of the sexy teen and preteen styles that are popular. The real problem? There are few alternatives. Everyone is showing clothing like this right now. Why would a four-year old need or want low-rise pants? Boy shorts? The bathing suit choices are just as bad. Clothing manufacturers evidently think little girls should dress like those awful Bratz dolls. Clothing manufacturers should be ashamed. They are marketing the "hooker baby" look for summer 2007. I don't care what 20 year-olds wear, but I refuse to dress my child like this.

D E :

The US needs more sexuality and less warmaking. Sex doesn't kill, war does. Only a male dominated society would even consider denigrating the beauty of women. Why would you even ask if there is too much sex? We are all sexual by nature. The obsenity is suppressing it, while encouraging violent behavior like war for instance.

James :

Are girls overly sexual.
Well unless you live in another world or are one of these mondern day dainty real men that are unable to stand up to women until after they have had their fun, the answer would be yes.
They have been getting away with it for far too long because of weaker men in are society. And it will only get worse.

Anonomyous :

Little girls are absolutely over-sexualized.
You only have to look as far as toy store shelves to see that girls today have far to much exposure to the influences that make them diet as young as the age of eight.

The "My Scene" dolls (amusingly referred to as Barbie-Strolls-Alot) are a perfect example. As I sat one day helping my neice pull a pair of skin tight purple leather pants onto her crop-top and stiletto wearing doll I started to wonder what kind of messages kids are receiving about body image and sexuality. And when I saw the play set for the dolls- a pool scene which included a picture of a shirtless bartender and contained little martini glasses-I was more convinced then ever that theres something very very wrong with a society that condones these types of toys for children.

Add to that the influence of "role models" such as Lyndsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton who are constantly in the news and it's no wonder little girls have no idea how to develop a healthy sense of their own sexuality at an appropriate age.

Disgusted Beyond Belief :

Human beings are sexual beings, period. If we weren't, we would not have kids, and the race would die out.

This is just about parent's inability to deal with the fact that their cute little angels will grow up and *gasp* have sex and *gasp* enjoy it and do it for more than just having a baby.

I have news for you - if you completely isolated a group of children on an island somewhere (raised there from birth) where there were NO sexual images, NO mention of sex at all, when they hit puberty, there would be a TON of sexualization going on. It is just natural and just the way it is and if we did not live in such a ridiculously puritan society people would not get so upset about it.

Wizard of Id :

Imagine Las Vegas without women and its sexual undertones and the so-called glamour that it promises....will it last for more than 1 day before it goes bust? Imagine Hollywood without its subliminal marketing of a sexy image (in parallel with its undertones of power and violence)? Then imaging what will happen to one of the main exports of America!!

Like it or not, it is an important component of the fabric of American life and culture. And exaggerate we must, if we want to do business. Remember the Prohibition, as we could not live without alcoholic drinks. We had to repeal a constitutional amendment….nothing wrong with that, it’s just our business and our society.

Anonymous :

When a nations is obssessed with Anna Nicole Smith, as it's version of Princes Dianna, what else can you expect?

Redneck in the corn belt :

There is nothing wrong with appreciating God's creation and the beauty of nature. And this domination by males over females goes back to the Roman times, the period that we all wish to reenact and relive in the West.

And, without big-boobed beautiful women, how else can you market beer any way? Especially at truck pull events and NASCAR races?

There are billions of Dollars and thousands of jobs tied to this perception and vision which makes our economy what it is.....Hollywood and TV and its celebrity culture, music idols such as Madonna and MTV and alike, fashion and make-up and cosmetic items, health foods and gyms and salons, high school cheerleaders, advertising, TV newscasters, Barbie doll toys,.... and a stripper named Anna Nicole Smith as America's answer to Princes Dianna?!


student :

For those who still live in denial:

1. You can't do anything about the fashion industry because this is how market works. Peoples choices may be not consistent with your moral. So just accept it and get a life.

2. Mixed couples and multi-race society will make the life of feminists a hell. Simply because the asian girls seem more genuinely interested to look actually like girls, dress stylish, and understand better how to make a good relationship. And this is something typically totally opposite to the feminists views on male-female relationship.

So my predictions would be: feminists are doomed in places like Canada, fashion industry is not gonna see any serious threat in any near future (unlike fast-food industry), expansion of multi-racial society will prevail. And by the way, since I lived in Canada for a while, I can say that Canada is much more conservative regarding displaying sex images than Russia (though Russia became more conservative in recent years). So there is lots of space for improvement.

ORL :

Are girls overly sexualized where you live? -- Here in Canada, many boys and girls are, and at a very young age. Some little children are already suffering from sexual obsessions teachers can easily notice, in the classrooms. Cheap sex, and a cheap sexual image of women, more particularly, are omnipresent in this society. They have, of course, a devastating impact on young people's self-image and self-esteem. Indeed, many of them feel they are presented with a norm they must(even ought to) live up to. Such a pervasive environment comes to have more influence than the parents on young people's thinking, emotions, and lifestyle in general. Hence the enhanced difficulties encountered by whoever considers it a duty to raise and/or educate the young.

How important is being light-skinned, in this country? In young (and less young) people, we see more and more couples (and families) of mixed origins. At first, older generations still resist that change, sometimes, yet, more often than not, seem to come to terms with that new reality quite gracefully. Reactions vary from one society to the next, of course. I have noticed that in other societies like e.g. Cuba (and Brazil?), mixity is a given, seems to go without saying.

How important is being slim, here? Very, despite the fact that obesity is spreading and becoming prevalent. Many young people (girls, more particularly) are obsessed with their weight. Eating disorders sometimes follow, and the view is widespread that smoking can help one stay slim... Personally, I see obesity as decadent.

What should be done about the young being overly sexualized? Unless the young stop being bombarded with cheap sex (explicit or implied) on an ongoing basis, this will not change. I predict it will only get worse, as long as marketers and advertisers can do as they please. Those people respect nothing in the young. Their messages have no class. The images they diffuse of the young are above all cheap and worthless. All those people care about is maximum profit in the shortest possible timeframe. They are the latest priests in this new religion called "consumerism"; and, unfortunately, the masses are still very much enclined to worship unconditionally.

As for mixity, this society seems to be doing all right. With time, I believe we shall become a truly multi-racial society.

But obesity is becoming a serious health problem. The omnipresence of non-food (including in schools, in hospitals etc.) is much to blame. Some schools and hospitals are taking measures to offer nothing but genuine, healthy food. More need follow suit. More importantly, kids need have a healthy diet at home, exercise regularly at school, and play after school. Some schools have gone back to physical fitness classes in the curriculum and more sports in extra-curricular activities. But ultimately, families need get down to serious business concerning the young. Judging by what the family has become, one can be sceptical (if not pessimistic) as to the probability of seeing encouraging results soon.

daniel :

Are girls overly sexualized where you live? How important is being light-skinned or slim? What should be done about it?

I live in the U.S. and from what I hear and see girls are overly sexualized but I would not know too much about it because I have always been rather timid around females. I just seem to lack that touch some men have with women.

A better question is how important it is being light-skinned or slim. Personally speaking I would say I have been sexually attracted to about 70% percent of the women I have seen--possibly more. I like all types of shapes and sizes. Some women look like they were made for some sexual positions but not others. Few women look perfect for all positions--in fact perfection in all positions too often pales into not really seeming made for any position.

I think women should not worry too much about weight and skin-color. In general basic hygiene and decent eating habits etc. are all that is necessary.

However I want to point out now a really big problem I have with women--and one which can be easily cured: the excessive use of perfumes, hair sprays, etc.

I hate the smell of the above--in fact one of the things I hate the most about my native country--America--is the obsession with cleaning and spraying and perfuming everything. Must our nostrils constantly be assailed everywhere we go?
When a building is cleaned it should be cleaned, not polluted with the stench of cleaning materials. When a woman dresses to go out she should concentrate on basic hygiene and health and not on trying to improve her smell with perfume, hairsprays, etc.

In fact, and to pay Fareed Zakaria a compliment, one of the things I like about Indian women is that they often smell precisely of natural things like the Indian food they eat. As a civilization becomes more advanced instead of becoming "sophisticated" in covering up stink it should move to correct health and hygiene. From what little I have read I believe the obsession with perfume, etc. in the West was born of the stinking Europeans and early Americans covering up stench instead of just taking a bath and eating properly and exercising properly etc.

Perhaps Westerners can learn from antiquity and Asia in this regard...

Another thing I hate about modern women is the obsession with dying hair or trying to appear of another race or plastic surgery or--

The goal is a maximum of naturality, of health, hygiene, etc.

Take what one has and work with it without falling into falsity. Be true to self.

What looks like a disastrous life for women--the constant dress-up, emphasis on appearance, etc.--can be turned into a true grasp of artistic principles applicable to other areas of life.

Taste, proportion, subtlety, shading.

Women can excel in these areas if they radiate out from themselves to all areas of life.

They can perhaps surpass men in this regard.

Why not believe it?

Salamon :

Atheist, Boston, USA:

To answer your question my opinion is that Zakaria & Ignatius are tired on reading postings which does not agree with their oulook as important views on USA foreign policy.

As a perticipator in the past blogs, you are well aware that most posters totally oppose the "RECEIVED WISDOM" of the political elites in the USA, whether with respect to China, Russia, Iran Iraq, Somalia or N. Korea.

They are also tired of reading that there is no "superpower", that the USA is heading down due to fiancial misdeeds of the last 10-15 years, etc.

It appears to me that with the exception of a few Bush/Zionist/Neo-con supporters the vast majority of the bloggers is totally fed up with the garbage spewed by too many columnists in WP Land [or NY Times, Jerusalem Post, etc.]

Salamon :

Having raised 3 female daughters, it appears to me that the female attire advertizing/marketing complex executives would sell their mothers or sisters for a few sales.

Neither morality, nor health nor psychololical well being of the female sex counts for anything as long as there is recurring herd behavoir in following the monthly changing fads as esablished my the marketers.

I have seen mini skirts in 40 below weather, pants and swimming suits unfit for healthy excercise, complete disregard for the famale shape excluding the ideal semi-anorexis female models etc.

The most destructive implementation of this fad clothing business is in high schools, where the poorer segment of society suffers due to its inability to dress "PROPERLY". I have seen too often teenagers dressed for "fashiopn" whoe daily outfits cost more than the total wardrobe for some other student for a week.

Aside from this the clothing industry cheapens the female sex, by emphasizing SEXUAL Attributes, rather than wholesome mode of living. Some preteens and teens resemble the prostitutes in the red light district with their "FASHIOBLE ATTIRE". This cheapens the girls - the feeling emanating from these girls is "I AM FOR SALE", take me. What a horrible way to gain popularity in high schools [or offices].

Atheist, Boston, USA :

Fareed Zakaria tends to be associated with PostGlobal questions that do not pertain to important international issues. Now, we have a question about whether "White women are beautiful".

A couple of months ago, Zakara asked whether the USA is obssessed with sex. That question was sparked by the homosexual scandal leading to the resignation of a Congressman.

Why is Zakara so focused on sex-related topics?

James Buchanan :

Ok, lets call a spade a spade. That "light skin" euphamism is insulting to the intelligence. You basically mean "white". If pale were in, the tanning industry wouldn't be doing as well in the US as it is. Everything from spray on chemical tanning to sitting for unhealthy stretches under UV lights, its a little nuts.

As for the whole matter of body image for girls, that to me is as much a matter of human herd behavior and groupthink as it is irresponsible marketing. Its one thing for the industry to put those images out there, its another for idiots to buy into it. Try something new, teach girls to be human and think for themselves. Are they so mentally deficient the industry has to cover every form of female figure in order to justify images beyond those presented? Are humans really becoming that stupid? What a sad statement on life.

PostGlobal :

To frame this debate, take a look at what sparked it: a recent report from the American Psychological Association which can be found at [apa.org/releases/sexualization.html]

Rajit, New Delhi, India :

Across the country people use "Fair and Lovely", an over-the-counter product that is supposed to make your skin more pale. Women carry umbrellas so they don't tan. In America, being tan is good. You always want what you don't have. I think it's very dangerous, a remnant of a bygone age, or perhaps an age that is still very much with us: of insecurity, racial hierarchy, and fierce judgment.

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