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Psychological research is being conducted to explore the messages advertisers are sending to young girls and how these messages are affecting their development. The findings of the research indicate that children in the U.S. are being bombarded by negative messages that objectify pre-teen girls.  

The findings are devastating. Young girls are becoming sexualized at earlier ages. Sexualization is the process that invites girls and young women to value themselves, and others, primarily for their sexual appeal above all other characteristics. Sadly, there is an awareness that society places great emphasis on an unattainable body image which damages the health and self-image of countless girls and women. Such detrimental emphasis can lead to eating disorders, anxiety and depression.  

Rather than placing emphasis on physical appearance as one’s greatest attribute, parents and society alike should encourage participaton in sports, artistic expression and meditation. These avenues can assist girls and women to develop a healthier self-image that is not based on sexualization. Advertisers promote sexualization by highlighting young girls as sweet, feminine and nurturing. Such coaching is presented in the “princess” or “pretty in pink” phase that many young girls experience. As these young girls develop, they are molded to become sexy vixens.  

The media needs to convey a different approach, that women do not need to rely on being sexy and attractive or a makeover to have power. Young girls are being brain-washed to adhere to this ridiculous societal standard. Shockingly, thong underwear and padded bras are marketed to 6 year old girls. The sexualized images women are exposed to are connected to depression, low self-esteem and eating disorders. Parents need to educate their children how to understand the media’s manipulation.  

As a society, it is our responsibility to teach our young girls core values that are not based on beauty. It is encouraged that parents write to companies and support consumer-advocacy groups that work to counter media messages that are unhealthy. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at [Link Removed] 


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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Jul 19, 2009
    • So I guess it’s a good thing when little girls start out living as “Tomboys” and later in life change into the princess because by then she has self esteem, confidence and power.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Jul 20, 2009
    • Very sad.  This suggests to me that we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Angelcart wrote Jul 21, 2009
    • Bernadette -  I believe it’s clothing companies, magazines, record companies, etc. driving this.  I think it boils down to money.  Well also parents who give in to their daughter’s every whim.  I have a friend who has let his daughter dress like a 30 year old ever since she was 13!  No doubt she’s a beautiful girl but I would NEVER allow my daughter to dress like that.  When I was growning up my father would not even allow me to paint my nails or grow them out.  Make up?  I wouldn’t of even dreamed to ask to wear make up.  That was not allowed until I was in high school.  Now, girls in the 5th grade wear make up.  Unbelieveable.



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