Thursday, February 22, 2007

Psychologists criticise sexualisation of children

Background briefing.

From CFNews:
A generation of very young girls is being psychologically damaged by inappropriate 'sexy' clothing, toys and images in the media that are corrupting childhood, leading psychologists warned this week. They say marketing takes unfair advantage of children's desire for affection and the need to conform, leading to eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression. The American Psychological Association's report says inappropriate marketing is leading to the sexualisation of children by a consumer society. Apart from clothing for five- and six-year-olds, with old-fashioned frilly frocks replaced by mini skirts, plunging necklines and sequined crop tops, the report specifically criticises 'Bratz dolls'. These outsell Barbie dolls in Britain by two to one and come dressed in miniskirts, fishnet stockings and feather boas. Disney's Little Mermaid or Pocahontas 'which have more cleavage, fewer clothes and are depicted as sexier than characters of yesteryear' are also picked out.

'The consequences of the sexualisation of girls in media today are very real and are likely to be a negative influence on girls' healthy development,' said Eileen Zurbriggen, the APA's task force chairman. 'As a society, we need to replace all these sexualised images with ones showing girls in positive settings. The goal should be to deliver messages to all adolescents - boys and girls - that lead to healthy sexual development.' Her comments were endorsed by Dr Jean Kilbourne, the co-author of a forthcoming book So Sexy, So Soon: The Sexualisation Of Childhood, who said clothing, toys and adverts were shaping a child's gender identity and values in the wrong way. She saw a direct link between what was happening and the rise in under-age sex. Dr Kilbourne told The Daily Telegraph:
'You see these clothes everywhere, tight T-shirts for little girls saying 'so many boys, so little time', that sort of thing. Parents think it is clever but they cease to think that when their child becomes sexually active at 12. Recently Asda was condemned for marketing black lacy underwear to nine-year-old girls. Sue Palmer, the education consultant and author of Toxic Childhood, said: 'The same mothers that dress their daughters up like tarts are probably the mothers going on demos against paedophiles. They don't make the connection between how they are dressing children and what they are so frightened of - paedophilia.' A Bratz spokesman quoted Dr Bryan Young, a psychologist at Exeter University, as saying 'parents may feel awkward but I don't think children see the dolls as sexy. They just think they're pretty'. [Telegraph]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I applaud the Church for speaking out on this issue and speaking the truth.

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen