The Sexualization Of Women And Girls

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The sexualization of women and girls surround Americans and is damaging to females as well as to American society. Females receive the sexualized messages regarding their appearance and how they should act via the media, retailers, and American society’s acceptance of these behaviors. As a mother, Girl Scout Leader, and school paraprofessional I cannot help but to question are these messages inflicting psychological damage on girls? Whom can I hold accountable for sexualizing female youth? What can I do to prevent sexualization from affecting all of the young girls in my life? The sexualization of girls is unacceptable because it is degrading to females, can cause serious life-long psychological damage and sexist attitudes, and may lead to violence against women and girls.
Sexualization differs from healthy sexuality. According to the American Psychological Association Task Force (APA), healthy sexuality is something that develops spontaneously in people that have not suffered any kind of traumatic sexual crisis. 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 cause that ensues when one of the following causes occur: 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
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