At Care2, we’ve written numerous times about the increased sexualization of children and teenagers. From Toddlers and Tiaras to crotchless thongs for girls to teens texting pornographic images, our children are being sexualized and exposed to sexual imagery and situations an earlier ages and in a more intensified fashion than every before. This is being facilitated and exacerbated by technology and the media.
A documentary released this year by Canadian Dream Street Pictures looks at the lives of our Sext Up Kids. The documentary shows how growing up in a hyper-sexualized culture hurts our children and presents some pretty shocking stories and statistics about what tweens and teens are doing.
The documentary is available in full online for Canadian viewers.
Speaking about the documentary, author Peggy Orenstein who also appears in the film, told CBC that there is a difference between discovering your own sexuality and being sexualized by others:
Girls need to understand that sexuality is something that comes from within and connects a girl to herself and to her desire and to her needs and her wants and is ultimately empowering as she gets older whereas sexualisation is the performance of all that and it’s a performance of sexuality and a performance of sexual entitlement that actually disconnects them from that stronger external sense of self.
What can we do to help our children, tweens and teens from caving to the societal pressure to become sex objects? How can we teach them to value themselves and respect others?
Photo credit: studiostoer on flickr
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