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Causes and impacts of Hypersexualization of Girls

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Brock University
Women's and Gender Studies
Jenny Janke

WISE 1F90 FEBRUARY 6 2012Causes and Impacts of Hypersexualization of GirlsIntroduction 1 Young women are particularly targeted by marketers to buy into particular forms of femininity 2 We are in the midst of an oversexualization of young women Hypersexualization separate from a healthy sexuality 3 Important consequences of this phenomenon 4 Consequences are potentially damaging and serious Not going to be affected the same way APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls 1 The American Psychological Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls 2005 examined the sexualization of girls via media and other cultural messages including the prevalence of these messages and their impact on girls and the role and impact of raceethnicity and socioeconomic status 2 The task force produced a report including recommendations for research practice education and training policy and public awareness Definition of Sexualization According to the APA Task Force 2005 four ways that sexualization occurs1 A persons value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior to the exclusion of other characteristics 2 A person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness narrowly defined with being sexy 3 A person is sexually objectifiedmade into a thing for others sexual userather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making 4 Andor sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person SexualizationExamples 1 All four elements do not need to be present any one can indicate sexualization 2 Any one male female old young can be sexualized 3 Particularly important for children sexuality should never be imposed on young people An example of sexualizationy Imagine a 5 year old girl walking through a mall wearing a short tshirt that says flirt y Consider the instructions given in magazines to preadolescent girls on how to look sexy and get a boyfriend by losing 10 pounds and straightening their hair y Envision a soccer team of adolescent girls whose sex appeal is emphasized by their coach or a local journalist attract fans y Think of print advertisements that portray women as little girls with pigtails and ruffles in adult sexual poses
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