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.
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.