Essay on Adult Sexuality : The Sexualization Of Women And Girls

Essay on Adult Sexuality : The Sexualization Of Women And Girls

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The sexualization of women and girls surrounds Americans and is damaging to females as well as to our society. Females receive messages about sexualization through media, retailers, and our society’s acceptance of these behaviors. Girls are constantly receiving messages about their appearance and how they should act. Children’s clothing stores sell padded underwire bras, shirts that say “Flirt,” thong underwear, midriff shirts, mini-skirts, and short shorts to girls as young as five. Are these messages inflicting psychological damage to girls? Are retailers and media solely responsible for sexualizing female youth? Can society do anything to prevent it from happening? The sexualization of girls is unacceptable because it is degrading to females, can cause serious life-long psychological damage, sexist attitudes, and may lead to violence against women and girls.
Sexualization is different from healthy sexuality. According to the American Psychological Association Task Force (APA), healthy sexuality is something that develops naturally in most people that have not suffered any kind of traumatic sexual event. Healthy sexuality includes affection, a relationship and/or companionship, respect, and healthy intimacy between consenting people (APA 1). Sexualization, on the other hand, is something that is forced upon a person. The APA defines sexualization as a condition that occurs when one of these four conditions occur:
1.) ﰀ A person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics; 2.) A person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy; 3.) A person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thin...

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...nagers on average listen to more than 2 hours of music a day (Parker-Pope). The message that young people are receiving from both female and male artists reinforce that sexualization of females is normal and accepted. For example, coming in at number 3, on September’s 2015 Billboard’s Top 100 is male artist OMI with the song Cheerleader (“Music: Top 100”). The artist describes his perfect woman to be someone who is submissive and knows her place. She is gorgeous and thin and does what he requests. A little further, down on the list coming in at number 7, is artist Selena Gomez with the song Good for You (“Music: Top 100”). The female artist sings about wanting to look good for a man. She does this by putting on a dress he likes, which fits skin-tight. Then she goes on to sing that she is going to show him how proud she is to belong to him by having sex with him.

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