The American Psychological Association shared a report about hyper-sexualized girls in the media and found that girls are more depicted in a sexual manner more often than boys. This behavior results in repeated objectification of girls and women and their bodies hypersexualized. Moreover, the media results in harmful stereotypes that often trigger violence against girls.
In today’s society, hypersexualization in girls is everywhere through television. social networks and numerous other platforms. It forces the young ones including girls to become adults before time. Does this situation raise many questions like what this phenomenon consists of? What are its consequences? How is it invading our society? and how is this prevented from disturbing the minds of young ones?
Difficulty Understanding Hypersexualization
Researchers often say that it is difficult to explain hypersexuality because this phenomenon is usually confused with a sexually active state. Now it seems hard to give a clear description of what is normal sexual behavior and what is hypersexual behavior? Either we point out a sexually active individual as hyper-sexualized or we are labeling him based on firm medical facts and data.? This complexity to explain hyper-sexualization needs scientific and medical evidence with research and records.
What is Meant by Hypersexualization of Young Girls?
Hypersexualisation is defined with the help of more than one definition. In the French dictionary Larousse, “Heper-sexualisation is defined as giving immense importance to sexuality in society utilizing advertisement and media “.Concerning the Hypersexualisation of young girls, it can be said that it refers to attributing hyper-sexual characteristics and behavior to teenage girls.
A well-known specialist of feminism and sexuality, Sylvie Richard-Bessette gives the definition of hypersexualization of women with specific criteria which is taken up by Chantal Jouanno. She mentions hypersexualization in her report by saying that it is the excessive use of body-oriented strategies to seduce themselves. Following the author, the hypersexualization of young girls is expressed by
- Clothes that feature parts of the body (décolleté, low-cut trousers, tight pullover, etc.).
- Products and accessories that typically accentuate certain traits and hide so-called flaws (make-up, jewelry buys, high heels, acrylic nails, hair coloring, padded cup bras, etc.).
- Body changes that aim to highlight sexual tendencies or signals (removal of the body and genital hair, compelling arm and buttock muscles, etc.).
- Surgical interventions that reconstruct the body into an “artificial target”: silicone breasts, lips were swollen with collagen.
- Exaggerated body postures that send a signal of sexual availability: bulging breasts, opening the mouth, wiggling the hips, etc.
- Sexual behaviors that concentrate on genitality and the thrill of the other.”
Effects of Hyper Sexualization in Young Girls
- Prepubescent anorexia and diet culture
The report of the APA Task Force of sexualization g girls reveals that hyper-sexualized girls are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders, including prepubescent and teenage anorexia. It is because of the pressure on girls to maintain a sexualized image and appearance by reducing weight as much as possible.
Diet culture is defined as a belief that associates weight loss with happiness, health, and moral values. It includes the promotion of weight loss by shaming certain eating habits and glorifying an ideal of beauty. Diet culture often leads to a path towards eating disorders and prompts unrealistic body ideals.
Even though there’s more social pressure in girls as compared to boys to maintain weight and take care of appearance, but when it comes to hyper-sexualized girls, it becomes more complex. This mental illness causes serious deficiencies in the body and a great risk to the health of hyper-sexualized girls.
- Sexual violence
Children are the easiest prey for pedophiles who suffer from mental disorders characterized by sexual attraction towards children. They develop the trust of children in order to seduce or abuse them. This sexual violence against children due to hyper-sexualized individuals brings a terrible state of public sexual violence. Not only this, pedophiles have ambitions to attract children to organizations that are involved in awful acts like child prostitution, child trafficking, or even child pornography.
- Child pornography & Unethical acts in society
Over the last few years, the tremendous increment in pornography generate the development of child pornography, which is an act of involving children in photography of sexual relations and spread on the internet. Such practices are of course unlawful and strongly condemned by the United Nations on the Rights of the child (UNCRC).
There is a link between child pornography with hypersexualize girls because they contribute to the increment of child pornography throughout the world. The concept of showing young girls under a sexual angle sends contradictory signals and makes it illegal and unethical.
Hypersexualisation of young girls causes sexual violence against children in both physical and symbolic forms. Hyper-sexualized young ones are a serious threat to society as they are harming and destroying the lives of numerous people mentally, physically, and emotionally. It requires some serious strategies by the government to stop it from spreading. The possible solutions include the following measures to control this phenomenon
- Awareness-raising programs and seminars in educational institutions are good initiatives to fight against sexist stereotypes
- Sex education must be encouraged because it is important to teach the right values instead of letting them learn themselves by unrealistic platforms
- It is important to address the young girls and boys through logical explanation and development of the critical thinking skills in them to fight the false advertisement of social media
- Parents have to take responsibility to give value to their teenage girls and do not focus on their physical appearance but also on their emotional, creative, and intellectual qualities.
- Legislation should make strict policies to ban the sexualization of children as well as a ban on mini-miss contests.
Here we discuss that hypersexualization of young girls is a burning issue that intensified rapidly in Western countries. Media including the film industry, social platforms, and pornography are the major causes of hyper-sexualized young girls. It needs to be remembered that although hypersexualization of young girls causes sexual violence it should not be an excuse to blame women for what they wear. It is not the dressing of women but the way people, especially men, look at it and sexualize it. The root causes of hypersexual behavior need to be eliminated or at least minimized to save the moral and ethical values as well for the protection of teenagers