Little girls define themselves as sex objects – thanks sexual ads?

Yesterday a Daily Telegraph article headlined “Little girls new sex objects” and “Toodlers want bras, pre-teens want wax”. (Jones & Cuneo, Daily Telegraph, 2009, p.2/3) Two special investigation pages illustrated quite clearly how pre-schoolers are turning themselves into sexualised “mini adults” by wearing bras, nail polish and lipstick. According to Louise Newman Professor of Developmental Psychatry at Monash University, numerous children are suffering “from clinical depression in primary school because they don´t feel they are pretty enough … the girls are worried they won´t get boyfriends [and] have started to defining their self worth in terms of themselves as a sex object ”. (Jones & Cuneo, Daily Telegraph, 2009, p.2, para 4/5).

Dr. Tucci, CEO of the Australian Childhood Foundation, blamed the sexual images children are now bombarded with for the staggering rise in kids particularly those who have never been sexually abused themselves, assaulting their classmates.

Girls read magazines which portray them as sex objects

Girls read magazines and watch ads portraying them as sex objects

Another former article mentiones, that “a daily diet of celebrities in sexualised poses, taking drugs and getting drunk has led to increasing numbers of children ‘defining their lifestyle’ around drugs, alcohol and sex in their early teens.” Distorted messages mean young boys wear football shirts emblazoned with alcohol brands while girls read magazines portraying them as sex objects, or purchase “sexualised” dolls.

As the alarming behaviours mentioned above do definitly link to uncensored media shows and obvious sexual ads it´s our task  as PR experts to use sex in ads and PR carefully. We should always bear in mind that not only our target groups but children and teens will see them.

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4 Comments

Filed under Communications, Marketing, PR

4 responses to “Little girls define themselves as sex objects – thanks sexual ads?

  1. Andy P.

    What world we live in? Children should be children and not sex objects!
    I used to work for a TV channel in GB for many years and I know that British media still have a bad reputation in Europe as they are accused not to be censored enough. Apparently the Aussie media system is also not able to censor inappropriate radio or TV programs and sexual ads.
    It´s definitely time for a change… Sex in advertising and PR has to be controlled!

  2. kellisa26

    I read this article yesterday and was surprised by the facts outlined by the reporter.
    Again whose responsibility is it when it comes to children and sex – is it the brand or the parent?
    The article notes that parents (obviously mothers) are allowing their daughter to get brazilian waxes at 11,12 and 13 (after their first period), why are parents allowing and permitting such behaviour (wearing bras, makeup and nail polish.) Sex will always be a part of advertising as it is a natural part of human nature, but the role lies with parents and guardians who should monitor or try to control what children view, understanding that an eye cannot be kept on them all the time.

  3. Ashley F

    I definitely agree! Obviously, sex sells and it will remain in advertising, we can’t control that. But parents should monitor what their children read and view, and also what they permit them to do. I don’t understand how parents could allow their children to do such things as waxings, wearing bras and make-up at such a young age.

    I do feel like children today are growing up so much more faster than my generation, where actions such as these were unthought-of for that age.

    Why are children so eager to grow up? Why can’t children just be children? And what happened to the childhood days of skipping ropes and Barbie dolls?

  4. GPO

    As a parent I feel we need support from society. It is a tough job to constantly reject children’s requests. Kids just want what everyone else has got or to be doing what everyone else is doing. We need to ask why an 11yo wants a brazillian? What pressures are on these children? Is it a wider issue. My children are pre school age and they still manage to wear me down wanting McDonalds, Coke, crappy commercial toys and mindless dvds. Advertising and peer pressure is very effective on children and its everywhere!Don’t be too harsh on the parents – they need support not critism.

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