Sexualization of early childhood is a sensitive topic for many. I could write about my opinion on this all day. I think that young children are being exposed to a lot of sexual images, TV, movies, and children are being exposed to sexualized material everyday. I think it's a shame that the world has come to this. As a parent, I find it frustrating that I can't leave my own TV on in my house for background noise because there are filthy languaged commercial, violence, provocative scenes from movies/tv shows, etc. These messages that young children are getting starting from such an early age are so demeaning.
I want to make clear how important it is to realize that there is a big difference between sexualization and sexuality. " Sexualization is treating other people and oneself as an object of desire, with their value primarily from sex appeal and physical attractiveness." (Shewmaker, 2013)
From my personal experience, three examples that illustrate the exposure of young children to a highly sexualized environment: 1.) There are many TV shows that expose sexual dance moves. For example: On the music video channel, "Dance Moms" or even the TV show titled "Toddlers and Tiaras." 2.) Children start watching tv at a young age and from the media they are exposed to many wrong messages. "According to research experts, 90% of a child’s brain develops during the first five years of childhood." (Leung, 2010) 3.) Lyrics on TV such as "I like big butts and I can not lie."
The implications this may have on children's healthy development: I honestly think that children are being exposed to too much sexual and violent things which affects who they are, I think it changes them and not always for the better. I think if more parents were involved in their children's life and were able to sit down with their children to discuss what they are seeing on TV and why, children wouldn't be so confused about it. In today's society, so many children have TV's in their room and what they watch is never monitored and they have no limit as to how much TV they can watch. I feel like if adults were to have very open and age appropriate discussions with their children/students about these topics, it would help the children understand the importance of self respect and how important it is to respect others. I think it's important for parents/families to communicate with the teachers and to keep that open line of communication open so they are both on the same page about things. ""We must change the world our children live in," Kilbourne said. Children are being taught sex education in schools, but this sex education is not necessarily the right kind nor correct." (Haight, 2008)
I always knew sexualization of early childhood has been really bad but I don't think I ever realized how bad it was. Watching some videos I found online and reading the many articles I did, I realized what a huge issue it is for society. The media is one of the biggest problems and why we have to deal with all this.
Shewmaker, J. (2013, January 22). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://jennifershewmaker.com/2013/01/22/what-is-sexualization-anyway/
Leung, M. (2010, April 29). Sponge like brain. Retrieved from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/7240
Haight, A. (2008). Kilbourne and levin blame media for early sexualization. The Simmons Voice, 1. Retrieved from http://www.thesimmonsvoice.com/kilbourne-and-levin-blame-media-for-early-sexualization-1.2419085