The minds of children are very malleable and from a young age they are taught the concept of gender and that boys are supposed to be strong and tough and girls beautiful and delicate. Social views are heavily instilled through the media and the imposition of adult models of sexual behaviour on to children at inappropriate stages of development leads to their early sexualisation. Scientific and psychological evidence support that premature exposure to adult sexual themes have a negative impact on the mental growth of children, especially self-esteem, body image and the understanding of sexuality and relationships. Cordelia Anderson, Founder of Sensibilities Prevention Services says “Little girls are being groomed into passively accepting their place as objects in our pornified culture, and boys are being taught exploitive and abusive sexual scripts.”
Sexualisation is also a matter of personal ethics and morals e.g. beauty pageants and toddlers and tiaras. Some parents think this is fine and allow their child to engage in such activities whilst other find it disgusting a toddler should even engage in such a mature event where the ‘talent’ is objective. Another example is Miley Cyrus whom growing up in the spotlight as Hannah Montana, had girls idolising her. As Miley grew, her image changed and her crazy antics became more and more sexualised which appalled some parents saying that she is an unfit role model and in sexualising herself and her image she is leading her fans to do so too. I understand their thoughts and I agree that the early sexualisation of children is quite anti-productive and bad in terms of child-rearing but I disagree when it comes to Miley who is 21, a fully-fledged adult in the US. At this age she has every right to express herself in whatever manner she pleases and she has also made it very clear that she no longer wants to be associated with the persona Hannah Montana and wants her music to take a different direction. Whilst her methods of change are questionable, parents can easily turn her into an example of negative sexual behaviour to their children as opposed to letting them idolise her.
Manocha, R, The impact on children of sexualisation in the media, Generation Next, Published April 27 2010, Accessed April 13 2014
The Normalization of Sexual Harm and the Sexualization of Children, Minnesota Department of Health, Published June 2011, Accessed April 13 2014