Dianne Levin was a school teacher and for the past 25 years has taught up and coming teachers as a college professor. She has much experience with children on a personal and professional level. She wrote a book So Sexy So Soon, in which she documents the tremendous influence that the media can have on children and teens in the area of sex.
She details how Bratz Dolls have supplanted Barbie Dolls, which themselves are an icon of stereotyped female beauty, and which are evolving in to more sexual forms as of today. Disney, she describes as "A Lion In Sheep's Clothing," stating that it projects an unrealistic sexuality with its Disney Princess empire and fairy tales in an effort to fully capitalize on consumerism as it relates to pre-teen girls.
The popular Disney TV station is also very much involved, with High School Musical and some other programs which are ostensibly designed with older teens in mind, but the audience of which is largely eight-year-olds and pre-teens.
Suicide among girls/teen girls increased about 70% in 2003-4, and the idealized perfection of stars of such programs, something unattainable for most or for anyone, contributes to a lack of self-esteem and to an increased rate of suicide. It is a by-product, rather than a direct correlation.
Sexual images in advertising and music videos, the easy accessibility of pornography, send a torrent of misinformation to the minds of children and teens. This can result in poor skills when entering marriage or other real relationships, marital dissatisfaction, and an attitude of sex without consequences or emotional attachment.
The positive side of this book, is the as much as Levin present the problems, she dwells on real-life solutions for both parents and educators, things that can work to form, what she hopes will be a campaign similar to the effective campaign against smoking years ago to the present. There are small suggestions that can help parents, and more sweeping suggestions targeted towards politicians.
The book expresses a certain "righteous indignation" against what is being targeted to children, it has one victory to show for its efforts, succeeding in undermining the marketing efforts of a major toy company to market a doll line based on the burlesque-like Pussycat Dolls directed to young children (Hasbro dropped the line before it went to market), but at the same time, there is nothing at all religious, sanctimonious or self-righteous about it.
It is more like, a good mother mad that the neighborhood womanizer has targeted her daughter. Her solutions and advice to parents is pretty reasonable even a little on the permissive side. Parents, teachers and principals would do well to read this book. It gives much insight that can trickle down to the lives of more well-adjusted children and teens. Some of her observations on the media are extremely insightful and astute, such as on children's boredom and addiction to the media (TV, video games, movies, internet, etc.)
Pages Related to Children's Issues - So Sexy So Soon
/ Miley Cyrus and Child Psychology
The Sexualization of Children
, Sharna Olfman
and Effects on Psyche of Girls
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