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Reports & Summaries

Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls

Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of GirlsFull Article Name: Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls

Open Access: Yes

Abstract

There are many examples of the sexualization of girls and girlhood in U.S. culture.Toy manufacturers produce dolls wearing black leather miniskirts, feather boas, and thigh-high boots and market them to 8- to 12-year-old girls (LaFerla, 2003). Clothing stores sell thongs sized for 7– to 10-year-old girls (R. Brooks, 2006; Cook & Kaiser, 2004), some printed with slogans such as “eye candy” or “wink wink” (Cook & Kaiser, 2004; Haynes, 2005; Levy, 2005a; Merskin, 2004); other thongs sized for women and late adolescent girls are imprinted with characters from Dr. Seuss and the Muppets (e.g., see www.princesscassie.com/children/cat.shtml) (Levy, 2005a; Pollett & Hurwitz, 2004). In the world of child beauty pageants, 5-year-old girls wear fake teeth, hair extensions, and makeup and are encouraged to “flirt” onstage by batting their long, false eyelashes (Cookson, 2001). On prime-time television, girls can watch fashion shows in which models made to resemble little girls wear sexy lingerie (e.g., the CBS broadcast of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on December 6, 2005). Journalists, child advocacy organizations, parents,and psychologists have become alarmed,arguing that the sexualization of girls is a broad and increasing problem and is harmful to girls (Bloom, 2004;“Buying Into Sexy,” 2005; Dalton, 2005; Lamb & Brown, 2006; Levin, 2005; Levy, 2005a; Linn, 2004; Pollet & Hurwitz, 2004; Schor, 2004).

    Citation

    American Psychological Association,Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. (2007). Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report-full.pdf