Thursday, August 11, 2011

FEMALE TEEN SEXUALIZATION ON PRIME-TIME TELEVISION


More and more, we are seeing tween and teen girls sexualized on prime-time T.V.  With shows like Gossip Girls, Glee, and Degrassi, the message our daughters are getting is "that being sexualized isn't just acceptable, it should be sought after". (Fox News)

(Sexualization refers to a person, group, or thing to be seen as sexual in nature or a person to become aware of sexuality.  It also refers to the making of an interpersonal relationship into a sexual relationship.)

The Parent Television Council (PTC) conducted a study examining teen female sexualization in prime-time T.V., entitled "Sexualized Teen Girls: Tinseltown's New Target".  According to PTC president, Tim Winter, "this report is less about the shocking numbers that detail the sickness of early sexualization in our entertainment culture and more about the generation of young girls who are being told how society expects them to behave".

*MAJOR FINDINGS:
(Nielsen data was used to identify the top 25 prime-time shows for ages 12-17.)
  • Underage female characters are shown participating in a higher percentage of sexual depictions compared to adults (47% and 29% respectively).  (Underage depictions consisted of implied nudity and/or sexual gestures, such as suggestive dancing, exotic kissing, exotic touching, and/or implied intercourse.)
  • Only 5% of the underage female characters communicated any dislike for being sexualized.
  • 86% of all sexualized female characters depicted in the underage and young adult category were presented as only being of high school age. 
  • 75% of shows that included sexualization of underage female characters were shows that did not have an S-description to warn parents of the sexual content.
  • Based upon a definition established by the APA of "healthy" vs. "unhealthy" sexuality, the study findings show that 93% of the sexual incidents among underage female characters occurred within a content that qualified to be categorized as "unhealthy".
  • The data revealed that 98% of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters occurred with partners with whom they did not have any form of committed relationship.
  • 55% of the sexualized incidents involving underage characters were either initiated by the female or presented as being mutually agreeable between the teen and her partner.
A study by the Kaiser Family  Foundation and Children Now reported that young teens ranked entertainment media as their top source for information regarding sexuality and sexual health.  While another report revealed children are spending more time than ever consuming entertainment media - more than 75 hours per week.

GIRLS EXPOSED TO SEXUALIZING MEDIA ARE MORE LIKELY TO:
  • Be dissatisfied with their bodies.
  • Experience depression
  • Have lower self esteem
  • Are influenced on their view of virginity and/or their first sexual experience
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
  • Watch T.V. and movies with your tween/teen (including your sons).  Ask questions and listen to what your teen says.
  • Read their magazines and visit the websites they visit.
  • If you don't like a T.V. show, say why. Talking about it is more effective than just saying, "no you can't watch that" or "because I said so".
  • Be understanding.  Teens often feel pressure to watch popular T.V. shows, listen to music their friends like, and conform to certain styles of dress.  Help your daughter (and son) make smart choices and remind her often that who she is and what she can accomplish are more important than how she looks.
  • You may feel uncomfortable discussing sexuality with your teen, but it is more important to  have this discussion now more than ever.
  • Talk to your teen about the emotional ties to having sex at an early age.  Let her know that sex is not like it appears on TV.  There is much more to it.  Talk to her about the hurt and let down she may feel, especially if it's her first time, and if the boy acts like it was no big deal.
  • Marketing and the media also influence adults. What you buy and watch will have an impact on what your teen does.
I came across this report on CNN earlier this week, and it is very disturbing.  This little girl is only 10-years-old and CNN says this pose is the only one they could show on TV.

I have two daughters and these reports are very disturbing.  I believe when boys see these types of shows and magazine covers (and believe me they are watching and looking), they expect "real" girls to act this way (sexually), and it can cause young girls to jump into a sexual relationship before she's really ready to in order to live up to the girls on these shows.




But what can you do? I belong to a group One Million Moms.com and this group works to stop these kinds of programs by attacking the sponsors, because these shows can't survive without their sponsors. So I encourage every mother, who wants the filth out of the media, to join this group. Here are some of their accomplishments.



How does a parent persuade their tween/teen not to worry about being sexy when every magazine cover, movie, and T.V. show tells her otherwise?  Share your thoughts here!

 






*http://www.parentstv.org/FemaleSexualization/Study.htm








14 comments:

Clayton Thomas said...

This is a major problem and a well thought post. My only suggestion is to keep children as occupied as possible so their minds can't drift off as often to this kind of nonsense. Also, having open and honest talks about this stuff lets the kids know that you know.

Best wishes,

Clayton
http://www.claytonpaulthomas.com

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

OH WOW!!!! Look at that cover!?! It's like a porn flick dvd cover!

Remember the days when the first Beverly Hills 90210 was racy? And those kids weren't doing anything like they are now. Times sure have changed!

Stopping by from SITS.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide said...

I think girls and boys need to be taught from an early age that it's what is inside that counts.

Also you need to parent. You have to monitor watch your child is watching, take them clothes shopping and explain what is acceptable to wear and not to wear. Finally ( this may be slightly traumatizing) show them examples of what happens when girls become over sexual too soon.

I will be honest, I had opportunity to see what happened to some the girls my age who were worried about being sexy. When I see where they are ink life and where I am... It is a big difference.

Lioness said...

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Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing this. I saw the Vogue thing a while ago and was appalled. It's hard raising two sons to respect women and to respect their modesty in this age of hyper-sexualization. I teach middle schoolers (12-13) and I see more and more their wanting to be "sexy" and have a "babydaddy" or "babymomma." Sad.

Jenny
Full Cart Full Wallet

TanyasTreasureTrove said...

Hi! Following you from a blog hop!:0)
Hope you visit me and return the follow!

AB HOME Interiors said...

Great post. I had no idea that teens were more sexualized than adults. But I have to say it doesnt surprise me. There are so many sickos attracted to child pornography and all these shows are doing is feeding it!
The internet and media are giving way to much accessibility and teaching our youth the wrong things of importance.

Jacqueline said...

It is so sad that this is such a problem. There are so many little girls (and now even boys) with body issues, sexualized WAY too young and in such a way where sex is not only normal but deviant! I wish more bloggers would post about this issue. The breakdown of the family doesn't help, I am sure, with parents absent in the house to have "the talk."
Following you from Blog Hop til You Drop!
http://theorganicblonde.com

Mommy LaDy Club said...

I had to fight this all of the time with my 4 step-daughters, and I think it helped being step-mom on this, because I could just be very blunt and straightforward about it, and take more of the friend role on this topic. They all had Brittany Spears putting the pressure on them, and now I think it's even worse with the current celebrities. Once, they were telling me how cute Brittany's half naked outfit was, and so I folded down my jeans, put on my highest heels, and pulled my shirt up like a half top(belly and cleavage showing), and walked into the room, and said with a straight face,"okay, I'm going to the store...what do we need?"(mouths dropped) Of course, they immediately got my point, and that did work!

The Gypsy Mom said...

This is a HUGE problem! My daughter is only 21 months old and I have begun to worry about girls and our society. The cover of that magazine is very disturbing! All we can do as a parent is be just that - a parent. Teach our kids right from wrong, teach them about love and sex and respect. I do worry about all the choices that my children will have to make when they are teens, I just hope that I am able to teach them right from wrong and about love and respect and the importance of "waiting for the right one". I wonder if our society is ever going to go backwards (as in become a more modest society)?

Following from the Blog Hop Till You Drop....hope you can stop by my blog sometime soon!
http://www.thegypsymom.blogspot.com

jeanne @ Inspiring Ideas said...

Oh - that's a sore spot. My daughter is still in single digits but I cringe at the future. I don't understand why the moms of the world don't revolt and boycott en masse.

Tina Modotti said...

Comparing pop culture with when I was a kid some 30 years ago, it is generally much more sexualized leaning towards pornographisized. Maybe its due to the prevalence of easy to access porn on the Web. I don't know what to do.

mamawolfe said...

following via Vb ~ http://mamawolfe-living.blogspot.com/2011/08/middle-school-where-everybody-belongs.html

I talk to my daughter and her friends, as well as my students, about this all the time. They don't always think about how they project themselves out into the world!

mamawolfe said...

I talk to my daughter, her friends and my students about this all the time. They don't always think about how they project into the world!
following via Vb ~ http://mamawolfe-living.blogspot.com/2011/08/middle-school-where-everybody-belongs.html

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