Sexualization of Girls
Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls
The proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising and media is harming girls' self-image and healthy development. This report explores the cognitive and emotional consequences, consequences for mental and physical health, and impact on development of a healthy sexual self-image.
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Journalists, child advocacy organizations, parents and psychologists have argued that the sexualization of girls is a broad and increasing problem and is harmful to girls. The APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls was formed in response to these expressions of public concern.
What Parents Can Do
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Parents can teach girls to value themselves for who they are, rather than how they look. Parents can teach boys to value girls as friends, sisters and girlfriends, rather than as sexual objects. Here are some conversation starters for parents, as well as other adults and caregivers.
What Girls Can Do
Winner of the 2011 American Inhouse Design Award from Graphic Design USA
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With the help of friends, teachers, and parents, girls can make changes in their schools, communities, and the media by questioning messages that say what matters most is how "hot" they look.
Empowering Girls: Media Literacy Resources
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With the help of the adults in their lives, girls and boys can gain media literacy skills, can learn to resist the message that how girls look is what matters and can learn how to advocate for themselves. Here are some resources that can help.
APA commends House bill aimed at promoting more positive images for girls
New legislation introduced to tackle effects of negative media images outlined in APA's Report of the Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls.