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William Haskins
02-22-2007, 08:46 AM
Goodbye to Girlhood
As Pop Culture Targets Ever Younger Girls, Psychologists Worry About a Premature Focus on Sex and Appearance
By Stacy Weiner
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, February 20, 2007; Page HE01

Ten-year-old girls can slide their low-cut jeans over "eye-candy" panties. French maid costumes, garter belt included, are available in preteen sizes. Barbie now comes in a "bling-bling" style, replete with halter top and go-go boots. And it's not unusual for girls under 12 to sing, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"

American girls, say experts, are increasingly being fed a cultural catnip of products and images that promote looking and acting sexy.

"Throughout U.S. culture, and particularly in mainstream media, women and girls are depicted in a sexualizing manner," declares the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, in a report issued Monday. The report authors, who reviewed dozens of studies, say such images are found in virtually every medium, from TV shows to magazines and from music videos to the Internet.

While little research to date has documented the effect of sexualized images specifically on young girls, the APA authors argue it is reasonable to infer harm similar to that shown for those 18 and older; for them, sexualization has been linked to "three of the most common mental health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression."

Said report contributor and psychologist Sharon Lamb: "I don't think because we don't have the research yet on the younger girls that we can ignore that of harm to them. Common sense would say that, and part of the reason we wrote the report is so we can get funding to prove that."...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602263.html

the report: http://www.apa.org/pi/wpo/sexualization.html

JDCrayne
02-22-2007, 08:50 AM
And then the authorities toss some poor sod in the clink for making passes at them. Uh-huh.

lfraser
02-22-2007, 09:23 AM
Hm. I'm not really certain much has changed in the last 30 years. When I was a teeny bopper, we all wore similarly tasteless clothing and people were making the same tut-tutting noises.

About that throwing in the clink thing -- aren't adults supposed to know better?

maestrowork
02-22-2007, 09:25 AM
One generation's gripe about the new generation's moral degeneration. It will happen again.

PeeDee
02-22-2007, 11:38 AM
"Damn kids. T'ain't like they was back in MY day."

Bmwhtly
02-22-2007, 01:13 PM
People fretting about youngsters: why is this news all of a sudden?

aruna
02-22-2007, 01:25 PM
Hm. I'm not really certain much has changed in the last 30 years. When I was a teeny bopper, we all wore similarly tasteless clothing and people were making the same tut-tutting noises.




A LOT has changed in the last 30 years. Yes, we were wearing tasteless clothing but we definitely did not have the obsession with looks and sexuality that today's 11, 12, 13 year olds have. And this time it's not just the older generation tut-tutting at the younger. This time, it's a rapid slide into total loss of control. We were silly, but utterly and comletely childlike. We weren't even THINKING of having sex when we were 15 or younger. That's not the case these days.

It's not just in the US - in Britain it's probably worse. Last week the British media was freaking out because British kids came out bottom in a study of industrialised nations - British kids have the most underage sex, do the most drinking and smoking and drug taking, have the least communication with parents, and are the unhappiest. US kids came second to the bottom. Holland was top, with the Scandinavian countries not far behind.

That's reason to be seriously alarmed. Any parent with children, especially girls, growing up into that situation needs to open their eyes and not just make excuses a la "kids will be kids".

aruna
02-22-2007, 01:27 PM
People fretting about youngsters: why is this news all of a sudden?


OK. So there's no problem. Just let them be. It's the people who are concerned who have a problem.

Cheez.

Pagey's_Girl
02-22-2007, 05:16 PM
I don't know - when I was about 11 or 12, I remember all the girls suddenly sneaking around putting loads of makeup on and carrying hairspray for their Farrah flips and wearing designer jeans so tight they couldn't really sit down. (I wasn't allowed to wear makeup at the time, my hair wouldn't stay flipped and no way was my mother buying me a pair of $100 jeans I'd probably outgrow before they wore out, anyway :) ) And all at once, all my girlfriends were suddenly boy-crazy. It may not be that it's now so much as people are suddenly noticing it...

preyer
02-22-2007, 05:46 PM
you weren't thinking about sex before you were 15? or you thought about but didn't do anything about it? i somehow doubt there are tons more kids having sex now than they were when i went to school (graduated in '88).

it's not about them having sex, it's about sexualizing girls at a younger age. i can't even say that's entirely true, either, because i remember all those girls back in the day dressing up like madonna when we were in ninth grade, back when she was a serious hooch. it's not even about dressing sluttier, imo, it's about adopting the same attitude as your role model, in this case a weirdo who liked to do books called 'sex,' but now writes children's books. in other words, madonna's attitude was completely about sex and shock value, and if she wore a garbage bag that makes no difference, it's when your 12 year old wears one, too, in imitation of that sexual attitude that matters. just my opinion. so, imo, this is hardly a new phenomenon as if the sexualization of girls hasn't been going on for decades. this suggests that were the internet around when i was a kid that things would be different. hogwash. there'd still be as many jailbaits around on myspace wearing bikinis and talking like whores, and just as many dirty old men salivating over every image and word. as if things have drastically changed.

as if we *just now* started dressing cheerleaders up in skimpy tight outfits. or girls haven't stuffed their asses in jordache jeans. or we haven't been having child 'beauty' pageants for 30+ years. or let them wear tight bellbottoms and a halter top. or in tight angora sweaters and poodle skirts (come on now). or....

but, i guess if you limit your focus on just the media, and promptly forget real life, one might forget what it's like out there. i used to live near the juniour high school and i'd always say to people that the girls dress entirely inappropriately. that was 15 years ago. styles change, but the attitude remains the same. so what if they're easily able to locate some semi-pornographic image of a ten year old (in terms of proving their conclusion, that is, which sounds a bit like they already had before they researched thing one. why do i have the suspicion this study was started by some father flipping through his daughter's 'teen beat'?)? that's saying that they couldn't do the same from material available from twenty years ago?

oh, and it wasn't totally off the wall to hear a girl sing 'like a virgin' when i was a kid, either, so that example has no validity whatsoever. the barbie line has always reacted to fashion trends. didn't they make barbie with mini-skirts ever? oh, of course they did, probably back in the 60's.

i think admitting to 'looking for funding to prove' it (whatever it is) about says it all, eh? hey, i'm looking for funding on the effects of dogs and cats living together. maybe if i said 'the sexualization of puppies' that'd get more attention? i mean, you've seen the kind of clothes people put on their dogs, haven't you? and in comic strips and cartoon shows you can see where things are getting warped and out of hand!

not that the sexualization of children is okay. no, it's not. i just find it humourous that suddenly it's a problem that needs funding, something that's been happening, oh, my lifetime at least. once you add 'internet' to it doesn't make it a 'new problem.' what's this funding going to cost taxpayers and what beside the obvious is it supposed to show that can't be determined from picking up some magazines off the newstands and watching some t.v.? that it's hurting young girls? it's hurting young girls. conclusion is right there. how is funding going to help the issue? 'we need to stop sexualizing girls.' okay, another mystery solved right there. have fun telling that to multi-billion dollar corporations, i'm sure they'll get right on that.

kudos to making people think we lived as puritans up til this point. maybe attitudes are skewed by advertising and such. maybe the attitude dictates the advertising (a concept i'm sure never even reached the table, and if it did probably lasted as long as a cream pie in a pie eating contest). maybe it's a bit of both... but there's only one way to make quick decisions and a fast buck, and that's to blame advertisers. i mean, it's hard to extort money out of parents who are oblivious to any problems but their own, eh?

the real title of this study should be 'how to get lazy parents off their dead asses and monitor their girl's intake of crap in an effort to infuse the idea that they don't have to be skanky wannabe sluts just because their friends are pretending to be that because their parents suck at parenting and crappy media sources tell you this is what you need to be.'

that's a long title, though. sticking with 'sexualization,' 'girls,' 'internet' and 'media' are the keys to funding here.

aruna
02-22-2007, 06:09 PM
you weren't thinking about sex before you were 15? .

Oh, we were interested in sex all right, like looking for words like "breast" in the dictionary when we were 10 and giggling about it.;) But the thought of actually HAVING sex myself before the age of 15? Or even two years later? No. Not a bit. I didn;t want it. I knew it was an adult thing, and that I was too young. Today's kids in Western society have lost that knowledge.

I don't believe in funding. What's that going to do? Society is going the way it has to go. It's a parenting issue entirely. If parents throw up their hands and say, "Oh well, she's going to do it anyway, just as long as she uses a condom it's OK" then what do you expect? If you let society bring up your kid then that's what's going to happen.

maestrowork
02-22-2007, 06:15 PM
A LOT has changed in the last 30 years. Yes, we were wearing tasteless clothing but we definitely did not have the obsession with looks and sexuality that today's 11, 12, 13 year olds have. And this time it's not just the older generation tut-tutting at the younger. This time, it's a rapid slide into total loss of control. We were silly, but utterly and comletely childlike. We weren't even THINKING of having sex when we were 15 or younger. That's not the case these days.


Actually, teenage sex is on the decline, at least in the US and Europe. Last I heard.

Children want to look sexy and attractive and wanted -- they just want to be accepted by others. They look to their role models, be them Bridget Bardot, Madonna, Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. It doesn't necessarily translate to sex.

I think lfraser's point is that this argument has been around for decades -- what about the 50s (rock n roll, skinny bikinis, swinging hips, red hot lipsticks), the 60s (all that sex and drug stuff), the 70s (sexual liberation), etc. etc. Teenage pregnancy was at its height in the 80s and 90s.

I'm not saying there is no problem so let your 12yo daughter dress like Paris Hilton. I don't think we're saying "let the girls be girls and let them wear fishnet thongs to school if they want to. Don't be a prude." But I also don't think it's anything new, and definitely not news worthy.

We were all young and foolish before. Then we become parents, and suddenly we can't stand how young and foolish our kids are. It happens in every generation. 10 years from now, we'll see the similar articles again. "How we wish kids were more like us in the 90s!"

aruna
02-22-2007, 06:17 PM
Actually, teenage sex is on the decline, at least in the US and Europe. Last I heard.

.


Not in Britain. The age for first sex is now 14 there. I can confirm that it happened to all my daughter's friends. She's the only one who held out - and still is not interested. Sex at 14 is. quite normal in the UK now.

aruna
02-22-2007, 06:49 PM
I think lfraser's point is that this argument has been around for decades -- what about the 50s (rock n roll, skinny bikinis, swinging hips, red hot lipsticks), the 60s (all that sex and drug stuff), the 70s (sexual liberation), etc. etc. Teenage pregnancy was at its height in the 80s and 90s.

......

We were all young and foolish before. Then we become parents, and suddenly we can't stand how young and foolish our kids are. It happens in every generation. 10 years from now, we'll see the similar articles again. "How we wish kids were more like us in the 90s!"

Your last paragraph is exactly what I mean.... it's been a constant slow slide down into laxity, and since the 60's a fast slide. I was around in the 50's and sexual imagery was not at all prevalent then. Every year, the barrier is getting lower. That's just the way society is - OUR society at least.

I say this as someone who grew up with an extremely "progressive" mother. I ws allowed to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Thank goodness, society itself was very prude at the time, otherwise I'd have been a wreck by the time I was 20. I was a wreck anyway. I had to pull myself together the hard way. Now I prefer the more traditional societies - at least as far as the raising of children is concerned.

But I know we can't change society. We can only influence the way our own children are raised, and we have to be clear and strong and help our children swim against the tide. Trouble is, most parents want to appear cool and hip and free, and are afraid of any kind of "moral" lessons. For me it was never about morals. It's about happiness. I was not happy with all my freedoms. Like I said - I was a wreck. Fun is not the same as happiness.

Soccer Mom
02-22-2007, 07:40 PM
Where the heck are these parents? The last time I checked, ten yo girls can't drive themselves to the store and they don't have their own jobs and money. Who buys these things for them? Who lets them wear them?

I remember trying to get away with too reavealing clothing as a teenager. My parents said "no" and refused to let me.

My boys would eat pizza and ice cream for every meal if I let them. Being a parent means saying "no" to things your child wants when you know it isn't good for them. Girls will be girls and boys will be boys, but parents should be parents.

maestrowork
02-22-2007, 07:42 PM
The parents are there, and they think it's cute.

Have you seen Little Miss Sunshine? Hilarious but sad.

Soccer Mom
02-22-2007, 07:42 PM
That is very sad. It makes me think of the Dishwalla song, "All the Pretty Babies."

Kate Thornton
02-22-2007, 07:50 PM
My boys would eat pizza and ice cream for every meal if I let them. Being a parent means saying "no" to things your child wants when you know it isn't good for them. Girls will be girls and boys will be boys, but parents should be parents.

Ah, SoccerMom - the crux of it. When I was 11, it was 1960, still an age of innocence. And later, in my high school, only the "bad girls" - 3 of them , I think - had sex. By the time I got to Woodstock, I was 20 and old enough for the sexual revolution happening around me.

Children today have a technological revolution happening around them that includes bombardment by sexualized images, news, songs, etc., in a way very much different from the past, even the more recent past of the 1980s and early 90s.

Without parental guidance, kids just don't have a chance.

preyer
02-22-2007, 07:59 PM
so you're saying it's rock n' fault? lol.

i'd say that in the 50's the media was more about domestication of women, particularly once women discovered as a result of WWII that, hey, we don't *need* men as much as we thought we did. hm, i shouldn't say 'particularly,' as women in advertising have always been thin with huge boobs and in their natural habitat, over a stove or a washing machine, having multiple orgasms at the mere thought of owning a fridge with an attached ice box. and lest one think they didn't sell vibrating pieces of equipment under the heading of 'massage masters' or whatever, think again. (yes, i grew up in a household where mom collected old magazines. torpedo boobs were the height of arousal, apparently. also, seems women didn't shave their bunnies quite in the same fashion, thank you mr. hefner for that insight.)

i'd have to do the research, but i'm sure the same idea in a broad sense could be applied to the girls from the roaring 20's (forget what they're called off hand). jazz was the devil's music back then, too, lol.

has the american attitude towards keeping little girls as virginal as possible gotten tremendously more lax? i don't think so. (and as an argument that pregnancy rates have dropped, first, i don't trust any gov't study that shows anything (studies are, imo, inherently full of bullshit anyway), and second, this doesn't say that girls aren't participating in sexual activities at all, just not what they consider 'sex.' oral and anal sex keeps them 'virgins,' while at the same time it's not really anything outrageous to be a lesbian anymore. maybe girls aren't getting as pregnant as they used to (well, you know what i mean, lol), but what are those reasons?)

is the 'evidence' more blatant now than at any other time in modern american history? i dunno, probably, sure, why not? seeing as how it's been around for quite a while now, i'm just not getting at what this study is supposed to prove. even if it had a point, i don't know why we should throw money at it.

the funny thing is that girls know they're dressing like trash. and believe me, the boys know it, too. hey, don't dress in pants where you can see your thong and 'tramp stamp' tattoo if you don't want people to immediately jump to conclusions about you, right or wrong. don't put it out there for the world to see if you don't want someone to look, lol. you're right, that's a result of lousy parenting.

now's the time when i add more bullshit onto the head and say it's also corporations' fault in part, making people work overtime to save themselves a buck, forcing people to spend more time with co-workers than their families. gee, think they'll start screwing around? ohmigosh, mommy and daddy are getting a divorce! okay, i'll stay here one week, there another, and discipline is completely out of control. i may not know which house my training bras are and my step-mom will have to teach me about my period when she's not drunk (true story, not about me obviously, don't ask, lol), but, hey, i know exactly where my cell phone is just in case i get in trouble, and what are the chances of that?

i mean, there are so many *other* things you could whip up a study about, why something so stupid? because it's easy? because when it happens to black people it's a problem, when it happen to a white kid it's an epidemic? (okay, that's got nothing to do with things, per se, i just love that analysis.)

let's play a game: come up with two completely different topics or subjects or whatever, then give me the conclusion you want me to prove and i'll 'prove' it using actual, honest to goodness facts. be forewarned, i may use the phrase 'have been linked to' here and there.

studies? bullshit.

surveys? bullshit x 2.

funding? cha-ching, baby!

aruna
02-22-2007, 08:03 PM
Preyer, sorry, I have to say it: your lack of capitilization gives me a headache!

preyer
02-22-2007, 08:06 PM
oo, i just thought of a great study. 'females have always been, is, and likely will be for a very long time seen as sexual objects.' i will prove this epiphany with one word:

DUH.

anyone want to fund that?

preyer
02-22-2007, 08:07 PM
sorry, aruna, for the lack of capitals. i'll work on that. :)

...hm, am i sensing another study?

PeeDee
02-22-2007, 08:12 PM
How to Lie with Statistics . I can bring that book up perfectly in any converation, I think. it applies here too. You can skew any set of numbers any which way you need to.

There's a joke in a comic strip...

Surveyor: Do you believe Bun-Bun is having an affair, OR is a rabbit the size of Godzilla?

Person: Well...uh....bunnies are small....right?

Surveyor: Check. Now. Do you believe this is a decline in moral standards, OR do you currently have blood shooting out your eyeballs?

...

As a soon-to-be-parent (i.e. a terrified guy who isn't sleeping well) I'd like to say that yeah, it bothers me. But I won't freak out about it, because it does matter how you raise your kids.

And, to an extent, there's only so much you can do. They're going to discover the world eventually, and they have to find their own equilibrium out in it. Sometimes they balance, sometimes they don't. Usually, they spend their teenage years bouncing from extreme to extreme and being embarrassing as they try to figure things out.

You can be there. You can be supportive. You can be a friend (when you're not being a parent) and mostly, you just have to wait it out.

Letting them know that if they're too stupid they'll get kicked out of the house doesn't hurt either. :D

PeeDee
02-22-2007, 08:12 PM
Preyer, sorry, I have to say it: your lack of capitilization gives me a headache!

You know, I've been talking and listening to Preyer so long, I don't even notice anymore... :)

aruna
02-22-2007, 08:43 PM
As a soon-to-be-parent (i.e. a terrified guy who isn't sleeping well) I'd like to say that yeah, it bothers me. But I won't freak out about it, because it does matter how you raise your kids.




ooh! Congrats! Now you can join the Baby Talk thread!

maddythemad
02-22-2007, 08:47 PM
I think sometimes the parents are around for the kids, and they still sneak out, "tart up" at school (i.e. change into the spare outfit in their locker), and swear all the time-- when their parents aren't around to hear. I think a lot of it is peer pressure, and pressure from guys (yes, I am going to blame everything on the guys. Deal with it.) A lot of 14, 15-year olds are pressuring their girlfriends to have sex. That's not really the parents' fault, and they can't be expected to "be around" all the time. Basically, parents should teach their children how to deal with peer pressure, etc., and then let them go out in the world on their own. Some kids will make mistakes, and hopefully they'll learn from them. Just my two cents. ;)

FergieC
02-22-2007, 09:01 PM
British kids have the most underage sex, do the most drinking and smoking and drug taking...

The sad thing about being a British 30-something is that your intitial reaction is cool. That may be where we're going wrong.

I was at school on the cusp of that, when you got bullied if you weren't drinking, smoking and generally hanging out with the hip kids. I still feel now that there's a social stigma attached to being too goody-goody, not drinking smoking or doing drugs. Of course, as an adult, the responsibility is yours alone, and you can be who you want to be. The pressure to conform as a teenager at school though is absolute hell.

I really pity kids going through it all now, because it is way worse. I was lucky enough (I realise now) to have parents who did set boundaries - I wasn't allowed to watch much TV, we had to eat at the table as a family, we didn't get everything we asked for, and we knew better than to ask for branded goods, trainers etc. I hated them at the time for all that; if I'd had my way, I'd have had a TV in my room and eaten all my meals in front of it.

I see a lot of parents now (probably the kids who didn't have such set boundaries when I was at school) who are now going to extremes, allowing kids to watch TV all day, TVs in the bedrooms from toddler age and junk food in front of it. No sense of family life at all. They let the kids do this because the kids demand it and they don't want to say 'no', especially if it'll lead to a fight. It also seems to be an extention of the libertatian, individualistic attitude that everyone should be allowed to do just what they want.

It's really sad though, because kids - and adults sometimes too - need to not always be allowed to do just exactly what they want to do, but to have a sense of discipline instilled into them (cripes, I'm sounding like an authoritarian now, and I'm really not). I guess what I mean is, given the choice to do anythig I wanted now, I'd probably stay in bed all day, eating chocolate and watching TV. But I know that wouldn't actually make me happy. And I think a lot of kids today aren't given the chance to find out that instant gratification isn't always the best route to happiness or fulfillment.

writerterri
02-22-2007, 09:09 PM
It's not a huge problem where I live. I think it's more of a problem in certain areas (perhaps big inner cities and places where families have more money), girls compete more with each other. It's here but I don't see it too much in my area. Now in Las Vegas there were a few Latin discount clothing stores that promoted sexy in all the way down to 3 year old clothing, plus most stores carried these types of urban clothing. I avoided those stores cause my girls wanted the clothes. The girls where I lived dressed like they were going out clubbing even younger than 10. I'm glad we got out of there.

My girls like to make believe with make up and shoes and singing but I put a cap on what's okay and what's not. The problem starts in the home. Either the adults don't care or they do care. In my house belly buttons and hip huggers are okay indoors with more sleep wear than clothing. When you go outside you don't dress invitingly.

It's the parents responsibility no matter what the media puts out there. They are either for it or against it. And obviously the money is being spent and it's a lucrative business. It'll just keep getting bolder as the years go on as long as people will buy it.

Pagey's_Girl
02-22-2007, 09:09 PM
I think sometimes the parents are around for the kids, and they still sneak out, "tart up" at school (i.e. change into the spare outfit in their locker), and swear all the time-- when their parents aren't around to hear. I think a lot of it is peer pressure, and pressure from guys (yes, I am going to blame everything on the guys. Deal with it.) A lot of 14, 15-year olds are pressuring their girlfriends to have sex. That's not really the parents' fault, and they can't be expected to "be around" all the time. Basically, parents should teach their children how to deal with peer pressure, etc., and then let them go out in the world on their own. Some kids will make mistakes, and hopefully they'll learn from them. Just my two cents. ;)

Very good points...

There comes a time when you have to start defining who you are as a person, and sometimes the only way you can do that is by rejecting everything every authority figure has told you and then slowly deciding what you want to keep and what you don't - sort of like cleaning out a drawer by dumping everything out and sorting through it. If you're lucky, though, you'll have the support system and the skills you need to get through it and figure things out because, yeah, it's rough. Very rough. But it's necessary if you want to change and grow and become a better person. And not just teens - everyone has moments when they suddenly realize they can't find a bloody thing and it's time to dump the drawer out again and go through it...

Bravo
02-22-2007, 09:11 PM
I think sometimes the parents are around for the kids, and they still sneak out, "tart up" at school (i.e. change into the spare outfit in their locker), and swear all the time-- when their parents aren't around to hear. I think a lot of it is peer pressure, and pressure from guys (yes, I am going to blame everything on the guys. Deal with it.) A lot of 14, 15-year olds are pressuring their girlfriends to have sex. That's not really the parents' fault, and they can't be expected to "be around" all the time. Basically, parents should teach their children how to deal with peer pressure, etc., and then let them go out in the world on their own. Some kids will make mistakes, and hopefully they'll learn from them. Just my two cents. ;)

well, obviously parents cant be there at all times. but the idea is that there are less and less boundaries for many teenagers, and the result is that we are seeing a helluva lot more STDs, pregnancies, etc at younger ages.

but, and this is going to sound contradictory, i think the problem rests on parents who fail to instill a sense of individualism in their kids.

individualism to me, does not mean getting brand name clothes, a fancy car, or being able to eat dinner in your room.

it means being able to have enough self-worth to actually stay above the fray. to be "cool" enough to seriously not care about how others perceive your lifestyle choice, and to recognize that you want to keep a healthy body and mind. you want to succeed in life because you actually love yourself.

that's what no one is teaching kids these days.

its sad.

William Haskins
02-22-2007, 09:16 PM
best post of the thread. thanks, qaz.

skelly
02-22-2007, 09:31 PM
but, and this is going to sound contradictory, i think the problem rests on parents who fail to instill a sense of individualism in their kids.
I think the problem rests with parents who don't instill a sense of a few good ass whoopins earlier in the program. I don't think "good" kids go to high school and get corrupted by everybody else's dung-hole offspring. The problem isn't that they want to fuck, the problem is that they don't have any respect.

aruna
02-22-2007, 09:41 PM
it means being able to have enough self-worth to actually stay above the fray. to be "cool" enough to seriously not care about how others perceive your lifestyle choice, and to recognize that you want to keep a healthy body and mind. you want to succeed in life because you actually love yourself.

that's what no one is teaching kids these days.

its sad.

Exactly. That has always been my aim. For a parent - at least, for me it was that way - it means believing totally in your child; cultivating that strength and self-worth and ability to be above the fray - and being an example yourself. Kids know if their parents are wishy-washy or not.

arrowqueen
02-23-2007, 02:33 AM
The trouble with saying 'We were the same at that age.' is that we aren't actually talking about girls just hitting adolescence, we're talking about pre-pubescent ones.

http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/library/wf-334.htm

Forget Lolita - we're heading towards JonBenet.

DamaNegra
02-23-2007, 07:20 AM
Well, I agree with Maddy that parents can't be on the check all the time. It won't sound pretty, but I routinely lie to my parents about what I've been doing and sometimes who I've been with. The reason? They don't trust me enough, and even though I'm never doing something bad or that can be harmful to me, they're never going to approve, so that's why I hide things from them. I'd never do anything to put myself in risk and I do know where to set my own boundaries.

The problem is that I had to learn how to set boundaries on my own, because on the one side there was this enormous peer pressure, and on the other my parent's extremely conservative viewpoint. Both of them were extremes, and I had to learn by myself what was the middle point. But not everyone has the ability to do that, some people just don't know where to set the boundary. Some people even like the risks.

Sexually, I'm like a 5 year old. I get terrified at the very thought of having sex. I wear guy's clothes to hide my womanly figure and act like a guy to hide the fact that yes, I'm a woman. But, ya know, I can't fool everyone all the time, and people are starting to notice I'm a girl too. And that's kind of scary. I see all these couples around me making out 'groseramente' in school and stuff and just shake at the thought that I may be expected to do likewise. Today, I made a comment about how a couple was excessively 'romantic' in public, and another friend looked at me weird and said: "that's normal." and the other said: "if they're excessive, I don't wanna know what I am." I was in shock. I mean, I could never act that way, it's just scary. But maybe that's just the way I am.

I think part of the problem here is not so much peer pressure but the unspoken expectations people have. People expect you to have a relationship, otherwise you're a loser or something. Then, when you have a relationship, you are expected to be as sexual as possible about it. No one is ever going to say it out loud, but the expectation is there, and people are subconsciously pressured by it. The light at the end of the tunnel, I think, is that most people eventually realise that it's kind of pointless, and they move on to search for more stable relationships. It's not like a rule or anything, but it happens a lot. People get tired of all these sexual relationships and move on to something more serious.

Teens are not lost or anything. We just like to learn the hard way. And, thankfully, most of us do.

(I'm not sure if I made any sense with this post, but I'm tired so please bear with me)

TsukiRyoko
02-23-2007, 08:34 AM
Chances are that the girls who are attracted by these types of logos and such already have a good chance of growing up this way. I agree that this sort of advertising should not be directed towards kids so young, tough.

WildScribe
02-23-2007, 08:36 AM
I was going to skip this thread, and then saw who posted. Funny how influential you are, Haskins.

TsukiRyoko
02-23-2007, 08:38 AM
It's true, most kids hide stuff from their parents. A lot of the kids aren't doing anything bad, illegal, or destructive when they lie, their parents just don't trust their motives.

aruna
02-23-2007, 11:05 AM
Sexually, I'm like a 5 year old. I get terrified at the very thought of having sex. I wear guy's clothes to hide my womanly figure and act like a guy to hide the fact that yes, I'm a woman. But, ya know, I can't fool everyone all the time, and people are starting to notice I'm a girl too. And that's kind of scary. I see all these couples around me making out 'groseramente' in school and stuff and just shake at the thought that I may be expected to do likewise. Today, I made a comment about how a couple was excessively 'romantic' in public, and another friend looked at me weird and said: "that's normal." and the other said: "if they're excessive, I don't wanna know what I am." I was in shock. I mean, I could never act that way, it's just scary. But maybe that's just the way I am.

I think part of the problem here is not so much peer pressure but the unspoken expectations people have. People expect you to have a relationship, otherwise you're a loser or something. Then, when you have a relationship, you are expected to be as sexual as possible about it. No one is ever going to say it out loud, but the expectation is there, and people are subconsciously pressured by it. The light at the end of the tunnel, I think, is that most people eventually realise that it's kind of pointless, and they move on to search for more stable relationships. It's not like a rule or anything, but it happens a lot. People get tired of all these sexual relationships and move on to something more serious.


And don't let anyone every tell you there's something wrong with you for not going with the flow, Dama! I think it's great when a girl can stand up to peer pressure to have sex. I was teased mercilessly by my two best friends when I was 16. They told every single boy I met that I was a virgin (we were in London at the time, going to a kot of discos and stuff) as if I was some kind of a freak - it was so embarassing, but they found it funny!

My daughter and I have a very close relationship, but I know she doesn't tell me her whole life, and I don't expect her to. I always placed a lot of trust in her, with the result being that she grew up absolutely trustworthy; so much so that I had only minor qualms leaving her alone in England to live with her brother; she is 16, and just utterly sensible. She sounds a lot like you, in that she knows her own boundaries and keeps them.

She hangs out with a crowd of very nice girls and boys and is very popular and loved by all. Most weekends the whole gang goes to someone's house and spends the night there; yes, with boys as well. Sometimes they all sleep in her room. I remember the first time when I had doubts she said, "What do you think we're going to do, have an orgy?" She is totally savvy about the ways of the world. She just doesn't like any of the boys in "that way". She knows what she wants in a guy and is waiting for the right one.

She's more responsible at 16 than many people are at 30; she can run the entire household, except for the finances, all by herself - better than I can. I think it's those German genes!

My son was the opposite: he broke every single rule by the time he was 16 and gave us nightmares and many sleepless nights. I dreaded the phone's ring - I was expecting the police to call to say he was either dead, in an accident, or under arrest! It was that bad for a few years. But he learned his lessons, the hard way, as you say. The two of them get on great together. He taught her the facts of life (he's five years older); he told her exactly what goes on in a boy's mind, and taught her to respect herself in order to be respected. Much of the credit of how she turned out goes to him. He's like a really, really cool and yet strict dad; very good looking too, and her girlfriends all have crushes on him!

Anyway, short story long: it's hard, turning from child to woman and no girl should feel she has to rush into it. There's a time for everything.

aruna
02-23-2007, 11:06 AM
The trouble with saying 'We were the same at that age.' is that we aren't actually talking about girls just hitting adolescence, we're talking about pre-pubescent ones.
.

Exactly. That article is amazing.


The report quotes one 10-year old. "I've just kissed guys. He was 11. My mom and dad think that I just chat with friends online. They don't know I go into chatrooms."

One nine-year-old said: "I've done sex. I do it lots when we go on holiday. The first time I did it I was six. We go to a nudist place in England. I do it with people of all ages."

The researchers, whose findings are to be reported in the American Journal of Family Therapy, agree they cannot say whether some girls were reporting fantasy rather than fact, but Dr Atwood said the results are still useful for describing the sexual lives of young girls.

"Sexual intercourse used to be something a person did when he or she got married. Then it became something she/he did in college. Now it appears it is something young people do in high school. In the present study, many have had intercourse even earlier than that."

preyer
02-23-2007, 05:12 PM
either that nine year old has no idea was sex is or is a little fibber. she does it 'lots.' for the sake of argument, say she's a little hooch: this is *not* typical behaviour of a nine year old girl, least of all eight percent. i own a convenience store, i get girls in here all the time. few of the them *aren't* flirty to a certain extent, but so what? that doesn't prove girls haven't *always* been flirty for the last hundred years. kissing? oh, yeah, i can buy right into that. who hasn't stolen kisses in grade school? i hardly count that as a path towards depravity.

again, while i find it ridiculous that out of 1300 girls, 8% 10 or under has had sex (and if this is true, it's probably a statistic that's old as time itself, most of which has to be honestly attributed to anything other than media influence), you have to think most of them are lying to impress people, particularly when it's on the 'net. and i hardly think they were influenced by media to perform sexual acts: more likely they are deeply disturbed little children to begin with if the act they claimed to perform was done willingly. it's just not natural for a well-adjusted child. this is almost like blaming some kid's suicide on hard rock. what a predetermined, knee-jerk reaction to blame everyone else other than the most obvious source ~ crappy parents and/or kids with developmental or emotional problems. the article doesn't prove anything other than paranoid parents' ability to make leaps of logic and connect non-existant dots and telling them to ignore the fact that these are not new problems. that's my point, this isn't new. the fact that you add 'internet' to it changes absolutely nothing other than getting into kids' fantasies and mentalities faster (and if you're a crappy parent, a hundred years won't be enough time to figure it out), which again just shows me that few of these experts went to public school, or if they did it was so long ago that they don't remember what the hell went on.

ladies, isn't it fair to say that in america when a female of any age has sex that it's almost always connected with emotions? well, if your crappy parents hasn't instilled you with the proper tools to deal with your emotions, whose fault is that? wal-mart's? piggly wiggly's? madison avenues? or is it just as likely that that girl is going to do what she's going to do regardless based on the fact she's emotionally abandoned?

i'm just hoping my 13 year old niece isn't pregnant by the time she graduates (i'm hoping she somehow manages to graduate, too!). she dresses in too-tight clothes that shows off her overly-development chest, belly hanging out, and often wears those stupid sweatpants that says 'angel' on the ass. her mother dresses her this way. of course, there's no end to the list of invectives i can heap on this worthless so-called christian ('course ol' mum there always got by on her looks, but after four kids her boobs have dropped around waist level and she's not quite so marketable anymore. so, after only four years of sponging off her mum she conned her way into a joke of a job, which only gives her another reason to ignore her kids. the point is, her daughter is so starved for her mother's attention that the first boy that says 'i love you' i'm afraid will see the child's leg fly apart at breakneck speed. is that not as it's ever been? that's not the fault of 'sexualizing' girls earlier, it's because her mother is clueless and doesn't care. were it possible i'd adopt them all (i've looked into this. stupid ohio ~ i've just about had it up to here with their ru-elles!)).

aruna
02-23-2007, 06:53 PM
either that nine year old has no idea was sex is or is a little fibber. she does it 'lots.' for the sake of argument, say she's a little hooch: this is *not* typical behaviour of a nine year old girl, least of all eight percent. i own a convenience store, i get girls in here all the time. few of the them *aren't* flirty to a certain extent, but so what? that doesn't prove girls haven't *always* been flirty for the last hundred years.

But not nine year olds. I also don;t believe that she has sex "lots". But isn't the very fact that she thinks this would be something to be proud of say something about today's kid culture? At that age, we were interested in ponies and dogs, not being sexy.


it's just not natural for a well-adjusted child. this is almost like blaming some kid's suicide on hard rock. what a predetermined, knee-jerk reaction to blame everyone else other than the most obvious source ~ crappy parents and/or kids with developmental or emotional problems.


that's not the fault of 'sexualizing' girls earlier, it's because her mother is clueless and doesn't care.

I'm not quite sure what your argument is, preyer. I think we all agreed that good parenting can withstand the worst media onslaughts.

It's silly to say nothing has changed (if that is indeed what you are saying), when it so obviously has. I don't need statistics or alarmist articles to tell me that.

I have lived in England both then and now, and I can state without any reservation that the entire youth culture is now slanted towards booze and sex, and it wasn't before. I see it every day when I'm there; I hear about it from my own kids. And we happen to live in a town that is considered "sedate" and "old fashioned".

When each generation of parents is a whole layer more lax, you have to ask what's next? I'm glad I don't have to find out.

Bravo
02-23-2007, 06:56 PM
yes, that 9 yr old seems to be exaggerating preyer.

but talk to a pediatric sometime, and listen to stories about 12 or even 11 yr olds coming b/c they had sex w a 15 yr old.

oswann
02-23-2007, 07:13 PM
Romeo and Juliet were supposed to be about fourteen and everyone thinks it's romantic.

Os.

aruna
02-23-2007, 07:39 PM
Romeo and Juliet were supposed to be about fourteen and everyone thinks it's romantic.

Os.

...and it is!

First of all, I think most people aren't aware of R&J's "real" age. In my mind, they're about 17.

And second: they were in LOVE. Love is romantic. Uncommited sex isn't. Readers cry when characters who truly love each other have to part, or die. They don't cry when casual lovers separate. Huge difference.

14 year old girls are allowed to fall in love! It's practice for the real thing! When I was 14 I was falling in love all the time!

But we're talking here about 14 year old girls and younger having sex before they understand what love really is. Before they have developed the ability to properly love.

What happens is that these early realtionships break up. And then comes the next "love=sex" relationship. And the next. And the next. Before she knows it sex is as casual as like shaking hands. Girls are the new boys.

And worst yet: she has lost the ability to love at all, because connected with "love" is now the fear or expectation that it isn't going to last; and why invest any trust in a relationship that won't last? That's a heavy burden for a girl to enter womanhood with.

If a grown woman chooses to have casual sex, that's her decision. But for a young girl it can be emotionally devastating; and the trouble is she doesn't even know it, as she has created an armour around her heart. By the time she's 20 she's an old cynic.

I've seen this happen time and time again. This is the argument I gave my daughter in favour of waiting. She's seen it happen too, to friends.

Bravo
02-23-2007, 07:44 PM
i dont think 14 year olds should be falling love either.

i think that a big part of this problem is that we teach kids that falling in love is the great all encompassing fantastic thing, but we fail to realize that a 14 year old doesnt have a strong identity yet, he doesnt love "himself" enough, to fall in love.

aruna
02-23-2007, 07:57 PM
But that's just it - it's not love. It's a great emotional welling up of attachment, but it's not love. And they need to learn that these feelings pass; they are not "it".

Whether they should or not - I don't know. I know I first fell "in love" with Paul McCartney at the age of 14 - butit was a dreamy, out of this world kind of thing. I think it was fine.

I was in boarding school at the time, an all girl's school, and we had a system by which a younger girl chose an older girl and fell in love with her. She was then your "smut". There was no sex involved; it was just this sweet dreamy feeling; and you did favours for the older girl. My smut's name was Clocky: Elizabeth McLaughlin. Strictly forbidden by the authorities, but I don't think it was harmful. It was part of growing up. I was in love with her and with Paul McCartney. And I knew it wasn't "real" love.