Girls As Young As 6 Aspire To Be Sexy


A new study in the journal Sex Roles has demonstrated that very young girls believe that they are supposed to look sexy.

Researchers at Knox College showed 60 girls between the ages of 6 and 9 years two dolls, one dressed in tight, revealing clothes and the other dressed in stylish clothes that covered her. They then asked the girls a series of questions, such as which of the two dolls they would wish to look like and which would be more popular in school. They found that 68 percent of the girls wanted to look like the sexy doll and 72 percent thought she would be the more popular of the two.

They found that girls who played sports were less likely to choose the ‘sexy’ doll, as were girls who had mother figures at home who provided “instruction during media viewing” (those mothers who teach their daughters media literacy).

The conclusions of this study could become an excellent tool in helping parents fight back against the hyper-sexualization of young girls – Enroll your daughters in sports, boost their confidence, teach them media literacy and critical thinking. Maybe then we’ll have more girls growing up to fight back against media that is trying to sell them an image.

Of course, if society is really uncomfortable with the over-sexualization of little girls, perhaps we could look at some real changes to what’s being marketed for these age groups. There is no reason to be designing and selling high heels for little girls.

Even if parents try to let kids be kids, little girls are still getting the message that they need to be grown up and sexy at earlier and earlier ages.


Related Stories:

Teen Girls to Teen Magazines: No Photoshop. Just Real Girls, Please

Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures

Science Is A Girl Thing If Its Pink And Sexxxy


Photo Credit: Courtney Carmody


Beverly Morgan
Past Member 6 years ago

In a society where what you look like has become so much important than the kind of person who are inside this doesn't surprise me. It's not about being smart or caring or having a compassionate heart, the things I find truly sexy.

irene fernandez
irene Fernandez6 years ago

Marketing is a vicious ugly circle, but if more and more parents teach their children that looks is not what makes you "worthy" and more and more people start tuning these images out ( aka DO NOT WATCH THOSE DISTURBING REALITY SHOWS PLEASE!) change will start to happen

Caroline Lefevre
Caroline Lefevre6 years ago

How could it be different? Everywhere they see women and girls wearing sexy stuff or acting like real trash. It has become needy for marketing, what a shame. Young girls think they have to behave and to look like those fake girls on TV. They really think they won’t success in anything if they don’t do the same. I have a little sister, she is super thin and pretty. You know what? She is already considering to lose weight because she is convinced to be fat. What a shame! What’s next for these little girls, thinking about getting breast implants at 15 years old? I really don’t understand our world, we are perverting our children! How can that be??

Kyle M.
Kyle McNamara6 years ago

Did a dad's role in the family have no impact on the girls?

Kyrie F.
Kyrie Fowkes6 years ago

This is just sick. Hell if I had that kind of attitude when I was 16 and when I am 26 my mom would kill me. Anyone who lets their kid get into this kind of stuff is abusing them.

Cat C.
Cat C6 years ago

On facebook a local television station asked the question: "Who is the hottest Olympic contestant?" I got mad and asked why that subject even had to come up at all. It's in everything you see these days ... this obsession over "Who is the hottest poker player?" and "Who is the hottest television chef?" Like this sort of thing is supposed to be our high priority in everything? Some of the gymnasts are very young teens, and I think it was horrible of theTV station to ask which one is the "hottest".
Also, one time I went to a card party at a friend's house and on her wall she had portraits of her daughter, about 6 at the time, posing in sexy attire and adopting a pouty, "come hither" look. She had bare shoulders, a feather boa, an adult hair style and tons of makeup such as lipstick and eye shadow, blush, etc. People exclaimed, "Oh she's so beautiful! She looks just like she's sixteen!" (The girl was in many beauty pageants.) The mom beamed with pride but I felt ill. There was no trace of a child in that photo. She really did look like a 16-year-old hooker! I don't think sexing up our babies is right.

tiffany t.
tiffany t6 years ago

make me ill

Nicola Payne
Nicola Payne6 years ago

Beauty pageants for little girls make me feel sick. In fact, all pageants do.

Valentina R.
Valentina R6 years ago

"These kiddie beauty pageants are a pedophiles wet dream! Those mothers who put the babies in them should be reported for child abuse."

Spot on, Sharon.

Children knowing the meaning of "sexy" and using it carelessly or even proudly is sick and worrysome to say the least.

june t.
reft h6 years ago

We can't even let our female athletes be athletes. This is what our female children have to look forward to if they pursue sport: from an article in "inhouse". "...Many female athletes are pushed to pose for nude or scantily clad photos and some are known more for their sexy image rather than for their athletic accomplishments. The most obvious is tennis player Anna Kournikova, who is a household name because of her sexy poses. She has never won a major tournament. Danica Patrick makes sexy commercials. Even Hope Solo, goalie of the U.S.A. soccer team, posed for a ridiculous magazine photo watering her front lawn in the nude."