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Impact of Sexualized Culture on Children and Teenagers (Reaction Paper Sample)


The paper reviewed the impact of the sexualized culture that has engulfed the society wth particular concern on the effect of the culture on teenagers and children.


In the United States culture, there is a diverse variety of Secularization of children particularly girls. For instance, a manufacturer of toys develop dolls dressed in mini skirts and thigh boots whose target market are children of eight to twelve years of age. Additionally clothing stores sell thongs meant for seven-year-olds with a slogan such as ‘wink, wink’ and ‘eye candy’ imprinted on them. Considering American Beauty pageants, children aged five years wear hair extensions, fake teeth, and much makeup all the while using their false eyelashes to impress the judges (Wolf 2014, 12). During prime time, children are allowed to watch fashion shows in which young models with petite bodies wear sexy lingerie. Some of them are intentionally chosen to resemble little girls to lure them of wanting the lingerie (Choate 2014, 17). Parent, child advocacy body and other stakeholders have raised an alarm on the Secularization of girls warning that it is harmful to them. This essay seeks to examine the prevalence of Secularization culture in the society giving examples of how such can negatively affect the small children and young adults (Delashmutt 2008, 38).
Secularization occurs when a person perceives he or she is valued as a result of the sexual appeal without including any other character (Coy 2009, 13). It also occurs when a person is sexually objectified in that they are seen as sexual amusement for others. The most socially prevalent is sexual objectification whereby people are viewed only as an object of sexual amusement. Sexual objectification particularly has been propagated throughout society to the extent that children of a very tender age have been brainwashed to assume that it is correct to be that way. Society contributes a lot toward Secularization of children and young adults (Durham 2009, 51). Traditional cultural norms that insist on self-respect and rebuke reprehensible dressing have been eroded by a pop culture of infused with sexualized representation of young girl implying that t is part of the norm. Secularization of children through culture is evident in almost every aspect of our day to day life such as what we watch on the television, in media platforms advertisement among others (Bayraktar 2012, 22).
With a vast variety of media platforms at one disposal currently, the ease with which one can access the latest trends and popular music anywhere and at any time gives access to the possibility of viewing a wanted material (Lynch 2014, 31). In the United States, mainstream media adopts a culture of depicting women in a sexualized manner that could be viewed be said to be a reflection of the society’s moral standards. This kind of characterization is duplicated in every medium, including television commercials, magazines, music videos and prime-time television shows (Foucault 1978, 26).
According to Choate, girls who are the major consumers of media are constantly bombarded with the sexual content each day (2014, 28). Research shows that an average child watches the television up to 3 hours each day and the number of hours increases among Latinos and black youth. Furthermore, the Kaiser Research study showed that approximately 68% of girls have television sets and 51 percent have computer where they visit different websites, chat rooms and access music for about an hour every day (Buckingham 2008, 29). The massive exposure of youth to media would increase the chances of exposing them to pictures and materials containing sexually objectified women. The television particularly, youth-oriented programs portray an array of male characters with female characters playing a provocative role. The female will more likely be more attractive than the male counterparts. Additional pervasive and comment with sexual connotation are very dominant on television. For instance, and analysis of prime time shows that are popularly watched by children, and adolescents, it was found out that 11.5 percent of the comments had sexually objectifying messages embodied in them in which most of them concerned women (Levin & Kilbourne 2008, 24). In the same way, a comedy show at the prime time had many scenes involving men ogling, leering and staring at female characters eliciting up to 25percent of sexual behavior (Foucault 1978, 41).
In most of the program on television, we find that there are any incidents of female put in a fixed view where they use their femininity to lure men and with wealth. It also portrays women as though they lack intellect and thence appear to be objects of sexual satisfaction. Women are rarely cast in a role that inspirational role in which the lead cast is a heroine. According the same research, 33 percent of incidents where women are depicted as of lesser intellect and sensually dressed to provoke a male role. Such scenarios are often glorified. In some cases, the female in such program are seen in a good light by the children. In many ways, television put a certain pressure on children to measure up to the sexualized images they constantly view (Gill & Scharff 2011, 21).
As noted by Bayraktar, looking at most of the magazines adverts on television women who often pose in sexual manners are often used to advertise most of the products. In turn, such image found to advertize many product present a culture that condones sexual imagery as a normal norm. The themes encourage seductive behavior among all its viewers elevating them to a level that they only seem to be the most important accolades one can achieve (Bayraktar 2012, 33). Through fashion advertisement, young adult and children alike are increasingly being influenced to wear clothes that accentuate their sexual nature ( Brown & Walsh-Childers 2002, 35).
In fashion magazines, teenagers regularly read magazine especially those that are primarily fours on the same target group. Most of such teen focus magazines contain strong sexual themes, portraying young adults as sexually desirable and hence attract the attention of men (Frost 2001, 27). This implies that gaining attention from the opposite sex is a primary role that women should embrace. In many magazines, girls and women alike are to dress in a certain manner to arouse sexual desire among men which is known as costuming for men. The advertisers also use sexually alluring women to convince others that their product will make them more attractive (Bayraktar 2012, 47). With the magazines enjoying 47percent readership aged between eight to eighteen, one finds that many youths continue to be sexualized seeing as they read such articles every day (Buckingham 2008, 31). Almost everything that girls and women are prompted to do is make themselves physically attractive and approval from men. A good example is a content published in the magazines often offer advice on sex and aimed at young women and adolescent teenagers. This creates an element of vanity in women and self-loath to those who feel that they are not desirable enough. Due to such kind of information, the teenager became sexually active a very tender age. Also, one finds that one cannot differential an adult from the teenager as they all wear adult sexual themes of dressing. The Day the fashion trends end up pushing the boundary of sexual provocation by constantly reducing the hemline upwards and insisting on showing more body parts (Frith 1997, 15).
Music videos and content
Sexual imagery depict is often seen to constitute most of the music videos. Women regularly posing in a provocative manner and dancing in allure postures go a long way in creating an illusion of sexual mischief. A large portion of the video has women posing as props whose only value is their bodily postures, and they are scantily dressed generating a culture of nudity and sex. Studies show that 44 percent of music videos sexually objectify women and with children and teenager spending most of their time watching music, many of them will tend to imitate the vulgarity rendered in the same (Lynch 2014, 49). The trend is not limited to a specific genre of music videos but almost all the music genres including country music. Subsequently the lyrical content of the music is filled with sexual comments that encourage nudity and sex. In some cases, maturity in the music world is established as a teenage artist changes her innocent lyrics and music videos into music with sexual connotations (Lynch 2014, 54). Such behavior is best exemplified by Britney Spear, who attended the 2001 MTV Awards with a nude body stocking as a sign of her ‘maturity’. Incidentally, her musical content radically changed from love songs to sexually provocative lyrics. The illusion passed on is that nudity and sex is a sign of maturity which is then taken up by a teenager who view singer as their role models (Levin & Kilbourne 2008, 63).
Cartoons and animations
Even in the world of cartoons, we find elements of Secularization (Delashmutt 2008, 40). Although the prevalence of sexual content in cartoons and animation has not been critically analyzed, there are incidences and evidence of anecdotes containing sexualised material. The portrayal of characters in cartoons such as Ella Enchanted wearing sexy costumes and very notable cleavage in the little mermaid; one could assume that children pick up such as normal behavior. The cartoons showing heroines were very short skirts, and sexy outfits could reinforce the pop culture and cannot be ruled out as potentially damaging to the girls watching the cartoons (Choate 2014, 39).
Products and Branding
Product intended for children constitute high profitability margins. Toy sales in their stores grossed a revenue of $ 21billion in 2005 (Taylor 2012, 71). Toys can be shape up children’s development an...
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