Appropriate teenage dating behavior

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Although extensive analyses documenting the sexualization of girls, in particular, have yet to be conducted, individual examples can easily be found.

These include advertisements (e.g., the Skechers “naughty and nice” ad that featured Christina Aguilera dressed as a schoolgirl in pigtails, with her shirt unbuttoned, licking a lollipop), dolls (e.g., Bratz dolls dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings and feather boas), clothing (thongs sized for 7– to 10-year-olds, some printed with slogans such as “wink wink”), and television programs (e.g., a televised fashion show in which adult models in lingerie were presented as young girls).

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.

That report provided recommendations to restrict advertising that is primarily directed at young children and to include developmentally appropriate disclaimers in advertising, as well as recommendations regarding research, applied psychology, industry practices, media literacy, advertising and schools.

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.

Both male and female peers have been found to contribute to the sexualization of girls — girls by policing each other to ensure conformance with standards of thinness and sexiness (Eder, 1995; Nichter, 2000) and boys by sexually objectifying and harassing girls.

Finally, at the extreme end, parents, teachers and peers, as well as others (e.g., other family members, coaches, or strangers) sometimes sexually abuse, assault, prostitute or traffic girls, a most destructive form of sexualization.

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