Great article, and about time someone paid attention to this. For many years
this process of sexualizing very young women has been taking place and has been
idealized. Many moms dress their children this way. Unbelievable! What do they
really want boys and men to think when the men see these girls? We men,
truthfully, can only think one way when we see that--it is overpowering.Why has it taken sooooo long for anyone to notice this? I have a step
daughter, now in her 30s, who could be/have been considered somewhat of a
"prude". Her mom is also extremely conservative and taught the
children very well. Yet, I was appalled at many of the photos they would take of
this beautiful young woman, and especially on vacations, the only reason to go
somewhere was to take a sexually provocative photo, and many of her adolescent
photos are the same. Although she is now raising daughters very conservatively
and is very strict on dress standards, what story do all these photos really
tell?With all the evidence, why are the photos 4 pics of the same 3
girls, and 2 others the same girl? Credibility of photos?
One aspect this article did not consider, is that currently, well more than half
of the graduating college students are women, a higher percentage for advanced
degrees, and women occupy more than half of the professional positions and
occupations. How does that all fit together?Also, how does early
sexualization of young girls affect the increasing divorce rate as they marry,
and the lack of women marrying?What I believe we see in much of
this, as in the divorce laws that make it very attractive for women to pursue
divorce and take everything a man owned, owns, and will ever earn, is a clear,
very sophisticated and extremely effective attack on and against the family.
This attack has been carefully planned and executed over a long period of years,
and we as a community have been easy prey. I think we need stronger family unity
and cohesiveness, and forethought of our actions and their effect on children
and grandchildren. Attitudes and legislation must reflect the same if we plan to
It is unbelievable how naive some of us are to our growing children. A friend
has a daughter who posts pictures of herself on facebook daily, many pictures.
It is a cry for attention that is becoming more and more provocative, and these
parents cannot even see what their own daughter is headed for. The parents think
it is cute. I see a difficult future for their family.
It all starts at home. Parents shouldn't be frequenting stores such as VS with
their children in tow. As a mom I dressed my children in appropriate clothing
from the time they were tiny babies. No sleeveless, short or tight, revealing
clothing or swim suits. White t-shirts under dress shirts for my son, and
camisole t-shirts, or slips for my girls, as well as socks, tights or nylons
depending on their age, when they dressed up. Although none of my adult children
are active church goers, they still dress modestly. The movies, books and media
we allow into our homes can have a major impact on our children and their
outlook in general about who they are, as well as their over all value in the
home and society. The activities we pursue can have an impact as well. We as
Mom's teach our daughters how to respect themselves by the way we dress and act
What happen to all that women's lib in the 70's? Women are to be equal to men,
yet why do we teach are children, that using your body can get you things in
life. I guess the 70's were really a joke.
One of the hardest parts of our decision to move to Salt Lake from rural UT was
the worldly nature of "accepted" dress. Not that we didn't see it in
small town UT, it is just far more accepted here. My wife and I cringe at not
only the teens clothing on Sunday, but many of the adult sisters.It
is obvious that many base their worth on their bodies. It feel sad for them, I
feel sad for my kids and the world they are inheriting. As for the
media influence, we kicked that out of the house years ago. Yes they will see
it all eventually. By that time perhaps the foundation of their value will be
enough to guide them through the storm.
"Any food may be innocent. It takes a wise man to be virtuous. We may call
no man virtuous till he has passed from innocence to the conquest of temptation.
The strongest forces of human life are not the subjects of idle play. The
real heart and soul of a man are measured by the truth he shows to woman. A
mans ideal of womanhood is fixed by the woman he seeks. By a mans ideal of
womanhood we may know the degree of his manhood.In the quest for
happiness, effectiveness rather than pleasure must be the real object of
pursuit. For effectiveness in a high sense will bring happiness, while many of
the apparent pleasures of life are only the masks of misery." Quoted from
The Strength of Being Clean" by David Starr Jordan, founding president of
Stanford University. It was as true in 1900 and it is today. Joe Thompson
Excellent article and oh, sadly, so true. I saw this affect as a school teacher.
Part of the problem is the home. My mother would never have let me out the door
with such outfits. I remember my sister trying to get away with it. She wasn't
very successful, but still has trouble with her body image. She has accidently
passed this on to her daughter. So sad.
I think the editor or whoever it was wasn't off when he said he wanted to make
the Deseret News even more mormonized a year or so ago. Such as the new ratings
system in the weekend section for how much a movie is PG, PG-13, or R. Then
with the metal cross from the world trade center on the front page which isn't
really objective reporting and belongs in the faith section, didn't the
scriptures say Jesus said to be careful about makeing spiritual things out of
such things like that I would think? Kind of like seeing Jesus in a piece of
toast or such. And now the headlining of the sexualization in media and
"the loss of innocence"? How sad and heartbreaking but what I can't
wait for is the next part of the series called "How can we stop
this"?You can't and you won't but you can avoid it to a large degree
if you choose to.
We let our children get trapped in a vortex of enticements while their
competitors in other cultures develop their abilities. Our behaviour is not
Deseret News thank you for this very informative article. I have seen the harm
that the sexualized media does to both men and women. It is time that we as
adults create a backlash against this type of sexalized media and truly educate
our children about what it means to be male and female so that we do not create
yet another generation of human beings who do not feel that they can never
@nanniehu:"No sleeveless, short or tight, revealing clothing or
swim suits...."Perhaps you should grab a couple of burquas off
the clothing rack on your next visit.
@Taylor:"What do they really want boys and men to think when
the men see these girls? We men, truthfully, can only think one way when we see
that--it is overpowering."Sounds like the problem is not so
much in how girls dress as it is the ability of 'we men' to control emotions and
mental thought processes.To women, dressing provocatively is nothing
more than drawing attention... If it were not so the human race would have died
out eons ago.As the article correctly points out, the human female
body is beautiful. It would certainly be a crime to all of humanity to hide it.
I wish the "Print" version included the graphics.
Kids are the new frontier of the Sexual Revolution - always searching for a new
boundary to cross. Now most people in the world don't even notice when teens or
pre-teens are being targeted or portrayed in media and advertising. And it IS
all about making money. Sexual predators of children also say now they are being
"persecuted". It is legalization of Gay Marriage in the 2010's. In the
2020's, it will be de-criminalization of Kiddie Porn and sex with minors. There are more books and movies about sex with kids - under the guise of
'exposing' it. But the movies are being made with actual pre-teens in roles
involving nudity and intimacy. And there is a segment of society that likes to
see this. I'd like to see this talked about in this series and what we can do to
stop it.In the UK recently, Tesco was stopped from selling
"Lolita Beds" and poles for pole dancing 10 year olds. Sad that they
even WANTED to sell this stuff.
@taylor"I think we need stronger family unity and cohesiveness, and
forethought of our actions and their effect on children and
grandchildren."To do this you will characterize the issue as
being entirely the fault of women in your post. "well more than
half of the graduating college students are women, a higher percentage for
advanced degrees, and women occupy more than half of the professional positions
and occupations. "This is a problem? Essentially what you are
asking is "how dare women get educated and how dare they not leave
themselves dependent on a man to get by".
Is the cost of not sexualizing girls frigidity?If so, then perhaps
its worth it.
@mr bean - Don't be ridiculous. There's a huge difference between appropriate
dress and being a fanatic. When we were growing up most little boys and men wore
white undershirts under their button downs, and little girls, women wore
camisoles or slips depending whether their dress was casual or dressy. Nylons,
stockings or socks were the norm as well. Dresses look better and hang better on
the body with a slip, and most women's legs should have nylons on when dressed
up; they just look classier and prettier. There's nothing less appealing than a
man with a super hairy chest with a thin dress shirt on and no t-shirt
underneath. It's so tacky. It's the same for women with muffin tops because
their clothing is too tight, and see through blouses that emphasize their tummy
roles, ick! Or worse, saggy, baggy cleavage, ugh! Some things just don't need to
be shared, and even if the woman or man is totally in shape, I would rather be
around someone who is comfortable enough with themselves and who they are to not
feel the need to share their physical attributes with the world, than someone
who needs the attention.
Whoa, Here come the Clothes Police!Layer up!
@nanniehu:"@mr bean - Don't be ridiculous."There are religions on the face of the earth today that require women to cover
every inch of their bodies... or get beaten It sounds like that's what you're
advocating except for the head and face covering.Actually, I think
it was an English Queen (Victoria?) who advocated women's clothing cover even
the neck to the chin (no exposed cleavage) and that the bodice would flatten the
women's chest to the point there were zero curves. Maybe that's what you
I don't have a problem with the intent of the article and agree we live in a
sexualized nation. I do take issue with two points:1. The constant
whining about how this is so terrible for girls with little regard to boys or
the need to single out girls as more important or more effected by
sexualization. Claiming it effects only or mostly girls, that girls issue only
is just so much is naive PC garbage and pop psychology. The facts are in our
overly sexualize nation girls are far exceeding boys in all aspects of life,
they get better grades, they go on to college and graduate in greater numbers,
there are more women than men in the workforce today and they continue to have
more social choices than men although still earning less. They seem to be
dealing with things just fine as compared to boys!2. Study after
study in the EU where most nations are far more permissive than the US indicate
lower rates of abortion and teen pregnancies than the US. We may have lowered
the bar but we also have the ability to tune much of it out or ignore it.
@nanniehu:"There's a huge difference between appropriate dress
and being a fanatic."Of course, but who's to set the standard?
You? Me? You set your standard and I'll set mine. And while you're at it,
consider what a prior poster (cjb) opined about frigidity. Think about it."Dresses look better and hang better on the body with a
slip..."Who cares about how the dress looks? It's what's in it
that counts."...and most women's legs should have nylons on
when dressed up..."Or, all the time if the legs are not trim
and muscular."There's nothing less appealing than a man with a
super hairy chest with a thin dress shirt on and no t-shirt underneath."Then, don't go to the beach where men with hairy chests are dressed in
swim trunks."It's the same for women with muffin
tops..."What's a muffin top?"Or worse, saggy,
baggy cleavage, ugh!"There's something we can agree on,
finally."Some things just don't need to be shared, and even if
the woman or man is totally in shape..."I think that's where we
Oh, what has it cost youI almost lost youA long, long time agoOh, you should have told meBut you had to bleed to knowBilly
Joel, "Through The Long Night." Glass Houses. Columbia, 1980.___Thank you for the sober article on an important matter, although I
quietly question some of it: ". . . They discover relationships with
members of the opposite sex at younger ages. . . . With a combination of a lot
of factors, children at 10 or 11 now think the way someone two generations ago
reached at 19 or so." If I'm remembering correctly: early in War and Peace,
set in 1805 in Russia, Natasha Rostov, who I think is portrayed as 13 years old
at the time, kisses a male friend and her father comments something about his
generation's grandparents getting married at her age. Which brings me to wonder
about the weighing and "combination of factors." (I also know of
mid-teen brides, and some grooms, from two generations ago.)
cjb/wrz,In your remaining 600 words or less each can you make your
case about frigidity? I'm not convinced.I don't recall the article
using the term "frigidity," but I think the authors are suggesting
that if there are problems, with physical intimacy or otherwise, that they are
more likely to be on the side of "sexualization." ___". . . Not living up to the unrealistic image impacts mental
health.""When they look in the mirror and what looks back
is not sexy and pouty and perfectly thin, 'little girls get really serious body
hatred and anxiety,' says Lexie. The feeling stays as they grow into
women.""The media increases self-objectification for
women. Girls begin to believe they are for someone else's pleasure. It's very
Re: Mr. Bean | 12:22 p.m. Sept. 18, 2011 "Perhaps you should grab a
couple of burquas off the clothing rack"Going to extremes does
not strengthen your argument. There is a place for swimming suits but it isn't
in the supermarket.
It should be recognized there is also a price to pay if parents are too strict.
If a girl isn't allowed to wear attractive clothes, it builds up frustration and
resentment.This fact should be part of the conversation.
In "Approaching Zion," Hugh Nibley argues eloquently that Babylon
works to turn all assets into money. This includes sacred things. The mantra
of evil is simple: "You can buy anything in this world for money."
Babylon turns men and women (and little boys and little girls) into
objects to be consumed - for money, power and gain. "Sexualization" (as described in this article) equals money. The
process strips key, critical elements from men, women and children, turning them
into "things" to be consumed in an orgy fueled by greed, lust and
insatiable appetite. And thus the promised reign of "blood and
horror" on this earth (and the death of love) is affirmed.But
there is hope. There is a way out. God works with broken things. He will work
with us. "It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken
clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength.
It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume... it is Peter, weeping
bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever" (From Guideposts, Oct 5,
1981, page 5). Let us work to heal the wounded and teach wisdom,
honor, loyalty and love to our children.
It's a natural human tendency to want what is considered "off limits".
The more we restrict human nature, the more we want to explore it. Even with
all it's "prudishness" I've heard that Utah has the highest teen
pregnancy rate. Go figure.
To "libertarian | 1:28 p.m" you heard wrong. Utah has one of the
lowest teen pregnancy rates. The best data I could find was for 2005. Back
then Utah had a rate of 47 per 1000 girls between 15 and 19 years old. They
were the 6th lowest. The highest teen pregnancy rate belonged to New Mexico,
with 93 per 1000 teen girls. The interesting thing is if you include Washington
DC, then the worst place for teen pregnancies is DC because they have 165 per
1000 teen girls.
I think Salt Lake City could do a lot to show we do not want to sexualize
children by getting rid of the billboards along I-15 as one gets into Salt Lake.
They frequently show such images.Besides that, billboards themselves
just look terrible along the skyline. Most cities no longer have them.
Nanniehu, I'm not sure where and when you grew up, but I wasn't there. I do
remember campaigning to remove the dress code rules in my high school because
they only applied to girls. Boys could wear whatever they wanted.That
said, we really don't seem to have moved beyond the message that girls can't
really do anything themselves, but if they can seduce a boy they will be set for
life. I recently saw a Toys R Us catalog that showed girls watching the boys
playing with the toys. I think there was only one picture of a girl actually
doing anything. This stuff starts early.
@libertarianAccording to Guttmacher Institute figures for 2006, Utah
ranks 45th in the nation in teen pregnancy. You're talking through your hat.
When we took our son to BYU we went to the Wilkinson Center and I stopped in at
a quick shop in the building to get something. I looked away from the items and
noticed a young lady stepping next to a handsome young man and then pulling her
shirt up to expose her midriff - just for him. Luckily, he didn't notice. I
did, and let her know through my eyes what I thought of that ploy. If girls think that is what it takes to land a date - even at BYU, where do
they learn that? They learn it somewhere. Inappropriate dress DOES have effect
- and is used for "the effect". Girls need to be taught that those
kinds of "ploys" are not good for relationship building.
I'm appalled by the Halloween costumes for girls as opposed to those for boys.
Boys have police, fire, zombies, super heros ... all those choices. Girls? Vampy
ghosts, vampy cheerleaders, vampy nurses, vampy bugs, vampy pixies, vampy dead
cheerleaders, vampy dead nurses, vampy vampires ... and the list goes on. These
costumes which use fishnet stockings, mini-skirts, and 4" platform shoes
are listed in the "Tween" section of the store. So they are telling
girls from 10-14 that this is the appropriate costume for their age. I gave up
on costumes in the costume store long ago and it's become a tradition for my
kids and I to create our own NON-vampy costumes from thrift store and fabric
store purchases. I get a little tired of the fashion industry telling us
what we should be wearing rather than letting us pick what we feel the most
comfortable in wearing. When we see a strapless frock, I point out to my
daughter every time we see the wearer tugging it up. By the time the number hits
5, my daughter is rolling her eyes, understanding the ridiculousness of the
dress. Parents have to take a stand too.
Perhaps this is a good argument for school uniforms.And I'm not
trying to be funny.
Thank goodness for this thoughtful article. I was just sitting here at my
teacher desk thinking about the songs I sang as a child, and what the kids are
listening to now. We have lost some of our culture to this sexualization of
kids. As I look around my classroom at the girls, I can see evidence of this.
Since when do fourth grade girls need to wear makeup to school?
We live in this world, só if it is becoming something we don't like, we
are partially to blame. The answer is not to run from it.Our children need
to be prepared, só teach them by word and example. Kids learn their
priorities from what they see their parents spending their time doing.Monitor what the kids watch on tv and explain why something they want to watch
is immoral when you tell them to change the channel. Same goes for the clothing
your kids wear.And most important, do not treat people with
different values as inferior unless you want them to form a hate group
protesting your values on temple square and eventually getting laws changed to
favor their immorality. If your child respects their peers and their agency,
there will also be less peer pressure on your child to act immorally as their
friends will respect that in return rather than ridicule.
wwookie -women for decency could use your help. I agree with you.
Okay sesualizing kids isn't good. But neither is drilling into their head
that having sex outside of marriage is next to murder as a sin. Therefore you
shouldn't wear attractive clothes on the off chance that these might
increas your chances of doing it.There needs to be a happy medium.
Oh brother.Many aspects of things in society are bad, and much more
so when we vent about them while embracing the paranoia. Telling the
gloomy picture to our kids is not the same as talking to them and instructing at
the right time. That time is best utilized by a parent in tune with the
landscape the kids/teens live in. Wishing provocative parts of
society away, won't produce a result different that what is. Stare down the
bad and, try not to get to enthralled with it as an adult (I am still
vulnerable), and talk to your kids about fighting harsh realities.I
feel I have been on a soap box, but what other options are there here? To be
redundant, talk about reality vs. standards with your kids. I see way too much
complaining on negative aspects of society in this article and in the comments
I think it notable that although home does have some influence, it is by no
standard able to have control. Some in this comment group have suggested that
they would never have been let out of the house dressed a certain way. But
clearly any attempt to keep in the house would eventually be considered
inappropriate by our society as proven by the responses to stories about kids
kept confined.We are only able to teach, and then let kids govern
rnoble Pendleton, OR"We are only able to teach, and then let kids
govern themselves."Children raided in homes when morality and
modesty are taught have a much greater chance of making the kind of choices as
adults that will bring them happiness.How many of those laughing at
the concept of modesty and morality are living with one of the more incurable
STDs that are available just for the asking?
This article hits the nail on the head. Society is pushing the envelope to
destroy the family by using sex to replace communication,
friendship,responsibilty and parenting. It is so important for parents to ignore
Hollywood trends and fight against this problem and teach modesty,
responsibility and friendship.
procreation is a lesson from god, it is one lesson that will not be subject to
mismanagement, alteration, abuse or denial. religion and 'mores' can
tweak (and rend) the lesson for its own ends, but the lesson remains unchanged.
Schools have replaced the home, and children are learning values from their
peers, media, and other outside influences. They're being indoctrinated
with the concept of man being bad for the planet, with standardized tests
leading to accountability and subjection to the state.This is a good
formula for failure.
I found it interesting that this fabulous article ran next to an advertisement
of young men carrying young women piggyback, with no clothing visible in the
picture (presumably they were wearing swimming suits, but none were visible).
The other ads around it showed "A woman who is 51 but looks 21" and
"Mom earns thousands from home" showing a woman in a tight top sitting
at her desk. We are inundated with misleading, dishonest, and vulgar
advertising, even when we try to stick to the Deseret News! (I no longer look
at the Denver Post home page - they always have at least one provocative picture
on the page) As a society we would benefit greatly from less sexualization and
more healthy self-images.
When the Moms get plastic surgery to feel better about themselves it trickles
down to the girls. Our whole society is obsessed with looks and status.Focus on being healthy and happy and confident.Looks are