The sexualization of young girls occurs when individuals or when a society explicitly or implicitly demonstrates that a girl's value comes only from her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, or when she is sexually objectified, or when sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon her. Girls are often pressured by society to be more sexually attractive to members of the opposite sex and to wear tighter clothing, post sexier images, act more feminine, and engage in inappropriate behaviors like watching porn or sexting. Boundaries are constantly being pushed by the media and by individuals. We see female celebrities wearing provocative clothing in music videos, on award shows, and on social media. Even if these women are strong role models, the way they dress, pose, and engage in sexually-charged conversations can be very impactful on girls. Unless girls can develop a health understanding of what they are seeing or hearing—and knowing that media portrayals of women don't mean they have to change themselves —they can easily start to internalize and interpret these portrayals in unhealthy ways. Aside from the explicitly sexual portray of young girls and women in the media, oftentimes friends, family members, or acquaintances may sexually objectify a young girl in their lives without even realizing it. For instance, if a young girl is called words like "sexy," or taught to only act or behave in a certain way that is more submissive, we are implicitly teaching girls to objectify themselves, not to act in a way that feels right for them , but rather in a way that defines them through an objectifying and patriarchal lens. We may not even realize we're teaching our girls to act differently from their male counterparts—likely, many of us were raised with certain stereotypes about women intact and don't even realize it.
I t's so unfair. No one understands you. People who actually have no idea tell you what to do all the time. About anything. No one is there when you discover something completely weird about the world. Not all the time. Some of the time.
'The battle they are never going to win is fashion': Katie Adamson, 13
From a year-old girl convinced to perform a sex show for an older man over webcam, to a year-old boy who tied up his girlfriend because 'on the videos they seem to like it', adolescents are becoming sexualised younger than ever. Experts are concerned about the impact of pornography on young Australians as more and younger teenage women are sustaining injuries from 'rough sex'. Ms McLean said while the injuries have been an issue she has been dealing with over the past five or six years, the age of those engaging in such activity had lowered dramatically. She added that 94 per cent of this aggression is directed towards women, something which is having a detrimental effect on the shaping of young people's sexuality. Young men are often trying to recreate what they have seen online in mainstream pornography, which is often aggressive towards women. Ms McLean recalled a police report she had seen detailing an incident between a year-old boy and his girlfriend, as an example of young people mimicking pornography. The teenager had tied the girl up and blindfolded her, but it was his reasoning that was the most shocking. She also said issues about consent, pressure and respect in relationships are a big issue for teenage girls. Both experts agreed the key to reversing these dangerous trends which can give young people a skewed concept of sex, respectful relationships and consent, is education.
The number of kids entering the juvenile justice system has declined steadily in recent years, yet girls continue to represent an ever-growing share of those arrested, detained, and committed to custody. In his latest collection of photographs, Girls in Justice , Richard Ross—who has spent the past eight years documenting incarcerated kids—explores the lives of young women in custody. His haunting photos, taken across different detention facilities, illuminate the difficult circumstances absent caregivers, poverty, physical abuse, sexual violence, etc. In the book, for privacy reasons, the girls are identified only by their initials, and their faces are obscured. And I like the money now. I had gonorrhea when I was