Stand back Paedophiles! We have a new threat to child innocence, and it is more prevalent than you think.
The sexualisation of children in the media is jeopardising the younger generation’s innocence through forcing sexual themes on children who do not yet understand the implications of this behaviour. This is dangerous for children psychologically and can lead to eating disorders and perhaps prematurely engaging in sexual acts before they are mentally prepared. The ‘sex sells’ precedence has been carried onto children and embarrassingly it’s working. Corporations are making big money out of this marketing method and Phillip Adams created the term ‘Corporate Paedophilia’ to describe this scheme. Corporate Paedophilia is basically the sexualisation of children in marketing and advertising. This creates a stigma for young children to aspire to, thus creating an unhealthy image of children across society.
Girls Magazines, ads, television programs and toys have been used to sexualise children. Too often we find young girls magazines stigmatising how young girls should feel about puberty and sex. Girls are encouraged to have “crushes on older male celebrities” (The Australia Institute, 2006) which could be seen as “grooming” for paedophilias. The readers of the magazines are being ‘prematurely sexualised’ by forcing them to be interested in sexuality before they are mentally prepared. Findings show that over half of content in girls magazines are sexualised. What kind of message is this sending to young girls? Freeman-Greene (2006) explains that “Ten-year old girls talk about wearing tween fashion to impress each other. They feel grown up and it’s how pop stars dress. But pop stars use sexiness knowingly.” This explains how corporate paedophilia creates an impact on young girls who do not understand how dressing ‘sexy’ is making them objects of prey.
Advertising is a large issue, as it is aimed directly aimed at making young girls feel inadequate if they do not own the product or look like the subject of the ad. The Witchery line “8Fourteen” is a new clothing line aimed at girls aged 8-14, yet the ad uses 11 and 12 year old girls with provocative poses with another 18 year old model. The ad makes the young girls appear much older than what they are and as a result sends a message to other girls that they should behave this way in order to be perceived as beautiful. It sends the wrong message of how girls should feel in their own skin.
Television programs, especially music videos aren’t censored for the sexualisation of young girls. Music videos often portray sexy women, which makes the impressionable young girls aspire to this standard. Role models, such as Miley Cyrus, are too often seen wearing provocative clothing and performing in a sexualising manner. Young girls are therefore aspiring to this sort of behaviour and creates a greater pressure to adapt to a sexualised appearance.
Even toys for young girls are becoming more and more sexualised. The Bratz doll is a classic example of this. The body alone creates a stigma for young girls body image, then add the stripper clothing and corporate paedophilia has created yet another bad image for girls. With the percentage of girls body dissatisfaction growing, how is it possible that this product can still be sold to young girls?
It’s obvious that Corporate Paedophilia and the sexualisation of children is everywhere. When does it get to the point of ridiculousness and society decides to protect children’s innocence? Children need good role models and the right guidance. It is immoral that they are being used by corporations to generate profit.
Rush, E & La Nauze, A, 2006, Corporate Paedophilia, The Australia Institute
Beautifully Invisible, 2011, Children and the Fashion Industry
Rush, E & Norma, C, 2012, Sexed up tween advertising shows fashion needs to grow up, The Age
Adams, P, 2006, Corporate Paedophilia, The Australian