Wednesday, August 6, 2008

DEMENTED: Grade-school Lolita: ‘So Sexy So Soon’ The sexualized childhood and how it affects kids younger than you think



The ironic thing is that MSNBC posts this photo that I had to edit with the young girls' cleavage... shameless. Using sex to sell a story about how kids are exposed too early to sex. Unbelievable. Click on the MSNBC link and see what I mean.

Read the whole thing here at MSNBC:
TODAY
updated 10:03 a.m. CT, Wed., Aug. 6, 2008

In their new book “So Sexy So Soon” authors Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne write about the trend of children becoming sexualized at a young age due to media images and marketing campaigns that encourage youth to be “sexy,” and they offer advice on how parents can protect their kids. An excerpt.

Chapter one: Never too young to be sexy
It has never been easy being a parent. But today, it has gotten even more difficult. A 2002 survey by an organization called Public Agenda found that 76 percent of parents felt it was a lot harder to raise children today than when they were growing up, and 47 percent reported that their biggest challenge was trying to protect their children from negative societal influences, including disturbing and confusing images, violence, and age-inappropriate messages appearing in the media. How would you have answered this survey? Are you, too, having a hard time trying to protect your children from negative influences? Are you finding it difficult to set and enforce limits on the media that your children are exposed to — to determine how much, when, and what? As parents, you are often told that it’s your job to “just say no” to all of the inappropriate content out there, and that this will solve the problem. But just saying no won’t solve the problem, and anyway, you can’t say no to everything! Instead, we simply have to deal with the popular culture in our children’s lives, often at the most unexpected times, in unforeseen ways, and whether we want to or not. This book is designed to help you do just that. And in order to be able to do so, the first order of business is to examine and recognize when and how the new sexualized childhood is influencing children from a young age.

Several recent books and news and research reports have expressed concern about today’s sexual attitudes and behavior of many adolescents, and increasingly even tweens (eight- to twelve-year-olds). These accounts often make it seem as if the behavior in question suddenly appears out of a vacuum when children enter high school (or middle school). Rarely do we hear about what was happening in the early years that paved the way for what is happening with teens.

There is a lot going on in children’s lives around issues of sexuality and sexiness that is important for the caring adults in their lives to recognize. The following stories from parents and teachers make it very clear that if we are to understand and deal with the sexualization of childhood, we must begin our efforts with very young children.

Crying in the bathtub [this is so terrible]
Jennifer reported that one evening not long ago, her seven-year-old daughter Hannah began crying in the bathtub. Alarmed, Jennifer asked what was wrong. Hannah responded, “I’m fat! I’m fat! I want to be pretty like Isabelle — sexy like her! Then Judd would like me too!” [keep in mind this is a SEVEN YEAR OLD speaking... horrible]Jennifer knew Isabelle, a very thin, very popular girl in Hannah’s class who wore “stylish” clothes that Jennifer thought were inappropriate for a seven-year-old. Jennifer put her hand on Hannah’s shoulder and said she liked Hannah’s body — it was a wonderful body for a seven-year-old and she certainly didn’t need to lose weight. But Hannah continued to cry and to say that she wanted to go on a diet. Jennifer felt uncertain about what to say or do next. In her view, Hannah had a normal body for a seven-year-old girl. Jennifer [ya think, Mom... pull your head out of your a$$] thought it must be abnormal for such a young child to be thinking about diets, let alone wanting boys to like her for being “pretty” and “sexy.” But, normal or not, Jennifer saw that Hannah was truly concerned and distressed, and she wanted to do something to help.

1 comment:

whizkidforte said...

I'm Catholic too, and I'm just borrowed that book a week ago! It really gives me a view of the lack of modesty in kid culture. I'll post the link to my epinions review in a bit!