Sexualisation of Girls – impacts on boys?
There has been discussion about commercial forces using sexualisation of girls for manipulation to increase sales of low intrinsic value products.
Melinda Tankard Reist has given public presentations at Forum on the Family, her book Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls and a Sydney Morning Herald article Sex sells, but we’re selling out our children.
The American Psychological Association has issued a report APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls.
As I listened to her speak I thought, are there similar effects on young men too?
In my opinion, there are roughly similar forces on young men too, though probably less sharp. There are the direct forces on girls (advertising in particular) these same forces impact more than just tangentially on boys? How do they react to seeing these advertising messages? Although these selfish, money driven propaganda messages are aimed at girls, they clearly also have many meanings for boys too. As a father of boys, these impacts give me concern.
Additionally, there are the consequent messages for boys. If these messages have any validity for girls, then what are the consequences for boys? Do they want to buy their identity into these meanings? Even if they decide they don’t like these meanings, can they step back and readily ignore these meanings?
In my opinion, the propaganda war between marketers and the public interest is far too one sided. Advertisers have ready access to large budgets, compared to the family oriented groups, such as Family First. If we add up the manipulation marketing turnovers of high hazard sugar/fat foods, gambling addiction sales, internet privacy, cosmetics, alcohol and clothing industries, divide by 10, we get a budget about five thousand times larger than Family First.
Parents should be concerned. They should also push their purchasing forces in the safer advertising directions and put financial support into political parties, to counter the effects of partly hidden money, illegally silently flowing into political parties. Any further down these tracks and we may as well be americans.
Can I turn you into a Dove?
I could note the correlation between advertising budgets and anti-depressant sales. I would be tempted to cut back on both and let the public welfare benefits flow through…..
Put yourself into the eyes of a young person. What do they see in these advertising messages. MurrayBacon – murderer selling axes.
By way of examples:
The difference between naked boys and naked girls
There no denying there are double standards when it comes to nudity, but both sexes need liberating from social oppression.
by Holly Baxter The Guardian.
Girls series 3: Lena Dunham’s Hannah is still naked – and critics are still perplexed
by ELLEN E JONES The Independant
The money spent on the sexualizing girls this article refers to is a kind of investment.
Radhika Sanghani’s complaint Rihanna’s ad isn’t just ‘sexual’ – it’s ‘unattainable sexual’
This is a convoluted Question
The inputs into the minds of our young boys and girls are everywhere and express many points of view from, Taliban/Christian fundamentalist, to the anything is ok of a sex offender.
Advertisers show idealistic images to manipulate the reality of their product.
Movies tell stories that are impossible.
Music videos imply dress up as it never happens.
Schools force standards that eliminate individualism.
Parents force standards in fear of the outside world.
Children see porn sites, dads magazines, and mums vibrator in her handbag.
Schools teach sex education, sterilised by fear of the parents.
etc etc etc
Confused yet adult!
Are your children confused?
Are you interfering in sexual fantasy development in a good way?
Or are we creating a generation of monsters, boys and girls.
A paper on more recent sexualisation of girls/women, by Dr Rosalind Gill, a lecturer at the Gender Institute,
London School of Economic & Political Science
London WC2A 2AE
This paper is available on the Auckland Women’s Centre website.
Although the paper is concerned for women, somewhat similar forces are affecting men too. I suspect NZ men are much less prepared for these types of forces – advertising cosmetic surgery, cosmetics, alcohol, all sorts of things that might be nice, but are awfully not necessary. This is why they need to be so intensively advertised, as people actually don’t really need them!