Healthy teenage dating relationships

Although relatively few (1.5 percent) of the ads portrayed children in a sexualized manner, of those that did, 85 percent sexualized girls rather than boys.

Furthermore, the percentage of sexualizing ads increased over time.

There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality.

Sexualization occurs when All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualization.

Virtually every media form studied provides ample evidence of the sexualization of women, including television, music videos, music lyrics, movies, magazines, sports media, video games, the Internet and advertising (e.g., Gow, 1996; Grauerholz & King, 1997; Krassas, Blauwkamp,& Wesselink, 2001, 2003; Lin, 1997; Plous & Neptune, 1997; Vincent, 1989; Ward, 1995).

Some studies have examined forms of media that are especially popular with children and adolescents, such as video games and teen-focused magazines.

If girls purchase (or ask their parents to purchase) products and clothes designed to make them look physically appealing and sexy, and if they style their identities after the sexy celebrities who populate their cultural landscape, they are, in effect, sexualizing themselves.

Research shows that teachers sometimes encourage girls to play at being sexualized adult women (Martin, 1988) or hold beliefs that girls of color are “hypersexual” and thus unlikely to achieve academic success (Rolón-Dow, 2004).Although few studies examined the prevalence of sexualized portrayals of girls in particular, those that have been conducted found that such sexualization does occur and may be increasingly common.For example, O’Donohue, Gold and Mc Kay (1997) coded advertisements over a 40-year period in five magazines targeted to men, women or a general adult readership.The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children.Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized.

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