Sexualizing Childhood

Children today are inundated with media and marketing that use sex to sell products. Embedded in these sexualized images are harmful messages that equate personal value with sexual appeal and turn sex into a commodity. Movies, music, TV programs, video games, and even toys marketed to children are rife with degrading images that objectify and sexualize girls and woman. Boys are also affected when sex is commodified, presented in the context of harmful stereotypes, and intertwined with power and violence. 

Sexualized media and marketing can actively interfere with adolescents' healthy sexual development and promote risky behavior. Today, even young children are internalizing sexualized images and appropriating sexualized behavior-long before they are able to understand what it means to be a sexual being.

Did you know?

  • More than half of teens report getting some or most of their information about sex from television.
  • On average, music videos contain 93 sexual situations per hour, including eleven "hard core" scenes depicting behaviors such as intercourse and oral sex.
  • The best-selling Bratz dolls-a hipper, sexier version of Barbie-are now a media empire, selling over 4 million DVDs and reaching number 1 on the Billboard Children's Chart.

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