Tuesday, March 06, 2007

More on the Sexualization of Our Kids

It is plain to see that the overt sexualization of our culture is having deleterious effects on our children. Clothing and doll manufacturers are psychologically damaging young girls encouraging them to readily identify with immorality, provocateur, and subject matters too mature for them to handle. The British newspaper, the Telegraph, has reported on how these products' marketing manipulates a child's desire to be loved and cared for and teaches them improper ways of dealing with those feelings.

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 warn today.

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.

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.

The Bratz manufacturers confess that they are aimed at sale toward pre-teen girls. To regular readers of The RP, there are no surprises that Disney has contributed to the problem. The Telegraph continues to report:
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.
Where is the church's voice in these matters? It is strange that the same parents who are ready to pounce on pedophiles and hormonal adolescent boys are the same parents sending their girls to school (and church) dressed like trollops, advertising something they are incapable of selling.

The Telegraph also ran a portion of an interview with Dr. Jean Kilbourne, co-author of a forthcoming book, So Sexy, So Soon, that addresses this direct link between cultural sexual imprinting 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. There is huge pressure on girls to look sexy and dress provocatively at a younger and younger age and boys are getting graphic sexualized messages. But parents can say 'no' and REFUSE TO BUY THIS STUFF [emphasis mine]."

(HT: Doug Phillips)

5 comments:

Steve Sensenig said...

I've been having trouble keeping up with other blogs, but am glad to finally be getting back to yours! I've missed some good conversations, it looks like.

I hope you and your family are doing well (almost time to update your profile information to reflect #5, huh?)

Are we going to get to see you at SEBTS in April?

Blessings!
steve :)

Tony said...

Steve,

I'd say having trouble is an understatement. I have been watching your blog the past two days but chose not to join the discussion. You were taking so many bullets, especially from infrequent commenters, I didn't want to bog you down further.

I should have sent you a word of encouragement but failed. I apologize.

I welcome your conversation and discussion here anytime, my friend.

My family is doing great right now! We are behind in school so we are feverishly trying to get caught up without burning them out. And yes, come sometime around July 17th I'll have to update that profile with my SON!!!

It looks like I will not be able to make the conference. I so wanted to, but I'm preaching revival services at one of our sister churches. God will provide another time for us to meet, prayerfully this side of eternity!

Thanks for stopping by!

Be encouraged...Tony

Elder's Wife said...

Interesting that you haven't had any more comments on this subject. I am appalled at the clothing being sold for girls of all ages. There is nothing feminine about little girls wearing camouflage jeans and tight, revealing t-shirts. Inappropriate clingy fabrics, high heels on 8-year-olds, sequins and make-up! I don't know who is designing this stuff, but it certainly makes even the sweetest young lady look hard and provocative. Unless a mother is able to sew, it is pretty hard to find anything for a child to wear.
So...what do you recommend?
Kat

Elder's Wife said...

I forgot to ask before...
How old are your girls? I understand that you are home schoolers. Why do you home school?Do you find that it's easier to curb the peer influence regarding clothes & toys when the kids aren't in a traditional school setting?
Our daughters (lots older than our son) attended a traditional Christian school elementary school through high school, and there was a huge "image" thing there. We home taught our son k-8, then sent him to a Christian high school for grade 9. He really didn't want to go, so we let him do 10th grade at home. For a number of reasons that seemed good at the time, we sent him back for grades 11 & 12. I can see now that he would have been happier if he'd finished up at home. Hindsight genius! There was a tremendous amount of pressure to wear the right clothes and be seen in the right places and with the right people. The home school crowd didn't seem to have that problem.
Kat

Tony said...

Kat,

I think I didn't receive much on this post because a couple of weeks earlier I had posted on Cinderella: Greeting Card Trollop and most of the comments on sexualizing kids played out there. But I found this article later and it proved a lot of my points so that is why I posted it.

As far as clothes for kids, let me use a simple illustration from Wal-Mart. Last season, Wal-Mart had very little clothing to choose from and I live in a relatively small rural town, so shopping is pretty much restricted to Wal-Mart (but that is another huge problem).

This season, Wal-Mart has changed their tune because most of the garbage they were passing off as children's clothes found itself on the clearance aisle. They now have decent, modest clothes that actually look like little girl instead of "Hottie" plastered across the rear end; flowers, butterflies, and rainbows.

So in the end the law of supply and demand still works. As I said in the post, parents have to refuse to buy that stuff and force by their purchasing habits retailers to market that which suits their tastes, or in our case our convictions about modest little girl's apparel.

And my wife does indeed make clothes, its just with four little girls and expecting a fifth child, a boy, our time is at a minimum for it.

To answer your second comment, we homeschool essentially because we want our children home with us. There are other reasons, such a teaching from a Christian perspective, discipleship, laying a foundation of Christian values and ideals, adequate education, etc.

But yes, we do see very little of the consistent peer influence. They tend to emulate mommy and daddy, which reveals a lot about us and puts an immense amount of pressure on us, but they do still want to be like their friends and do things their friends do, but it is limited and we can control it. They don't see their friends everyday, but they do see us everyday.
I think that makes all the difference in the world.

Peer influence is probably the second reason we homeschool. I believe that a group of kids carted off from home to spend 7-8 hours 180 days out of the year under the influence of their peers all day is counterproductive and at worst destructive.

Good questions and comments! Thanks, Kat.