APA Comments on Federal Youth Policy: Addresses Sexualization of Girls

APA submitted comments on January 20, 2011, to the Department of Health and Human Services Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs for their Strategic Plan for Federal Youth Policy. APA recommended greater support for federal research and programs to combat the detrimental emotional and psychological effects of sexualization on youth as outlined in APA’s 2007 Task Force report on the Sexualization of Girls. Sexualization has a broad array of negative effects on youth, both male and female, and ramifications that extend into all of society. Specifically, APA’s comments encourage further research regarding how the effects of sexualized depictions of girls vary by gender, race and ethnicity, and developmentally by age groups.  Further, such research can be used to inform education programs on media literacy and empowerment programs in culturally-appropriate ways to more effectively reach at-risk youth.