Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Early Sexualization. Cute or Concerning?

These eight year old girls are great dancers. But the question is....does dressing and dancing like this make their performance cute or concerning?

According to study by the American Psychological Association, early sexualization of girls can lead to the following:

"Cognitive and Emotional Consequences: Sexualization and objectification undermine a person’s confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems, such as shame and anxiety.

Mental and Physical Health: Research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems diagnosed in girls and women—eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood.

Sexual Development: Research suggests that the sexualization of girls has negative consequences on girls’ ability to develop a healthy sexual self-image."

It is clear that these young girls are talented and confident, but this kind of dancing and exposure is likely to lead to more serious concerns.

DeAngelis, T. (2007). APA task force report decries culture's sexualization of girls. Monitor on Psychology,38(4), 51-52.


Ami said...

You left out 'horrifying'.

kenju said...

I agree with Ami.

Clueless said...

To me this borders on "kiddie porn." What is worse is that the parents and adults involved encourage this and applaud it without question. Imagine a group of pedophiles watching this. How young will we sexualize out children!! I was appauled when I saw this on television. What values are we teaching to our young girls?

Dr. Deb said...

I originally wanted to make the second answer "catastrophic" but went with "concerning" to soften my bias.

I agree with Ami too.

There's no doubt these girls are very very talented. Beyonce's body was more covered up in her video than these girs. I believe it sexualizes our children, and exploits them as well.

Phil said...

And.. is Hannah Montana/Jonas Bros etc just as bad? My 8-yr old is addicted to Disney's "child crooners" (specifically Justin Bieber's "Baby, baby" song). I'm sure she doesn't understand the sexual side of it, but to me it's just as worrying that she's obsessed with the romantic side.

The other day I caught her drawing a heart with her initials and those of her favorite classmate! (they've been virtually inseparable since they were 6). He probably doesn't see the relationship the same way, so I guess she's heading for heartbreak - as we all do at some point in life; a necessary bridge to cross. But should that really be happening at 8?

Barbara said...

Their parents need to be arrested immediately for putting their daughters at risk of....the list is so long I won't even attempt it but most intelligent people will know what I mean.

This is a form of child abuse if you ask me. I feel very sorry for these girls, someone needs to rescue them before its too late.

(thank you for your comment. now his psych has him on Neurontin, Depakote, Abilify, Welbutrin and Trazadone. Every day he is still alive is a day I am thankful for.

tracy said...

Just awful. i am not a perfect parent...no one is. But i cannot imagine these parents.

~Just me again~ said...

As a dance mom, I've been told that before. But, luckily for us, the studios we were at always had age appropriate costumes and moves. I know when we went down to the states for competition, I was floored by what they had the kids in...the songs they were dancing too. I think down there they are alot more liberal than up here, we seem to be very reserved.

But yes, I find it sick to watch this. It's like the pageants.

Carie said...

it makes me sad, these little girls growing up so fast, being used and put out there in away that is so innappropraite.

When Ashley was little we didn't have a tv and I only played childrens music (my CD's from my pre k classes and such) She took ballet, drama and art at the local dance studio, when we were there a teacher had a class of girls and one boy dancing to baby got back...I couldn't believe it, and all the parents thought it was cute and funny...I will never understand things like this and the beauty pagents and so on...its just heart breaking

Anonymous said...

I was groomed for men by my MOTHER from early on. She was actually proud that as an 11 yr old,I had men trying to pick me up. You can all imagine where this led to..SO it doubley sickens me to see these little girls like this. I think their mothers should smacked upside the head,or at the very least warned by social services or some other agency. What is being done to little girls these days..aught to be a crime.

S'onnie said...

This is so incredibly wrong. Do these girl's parents not love them? Everything is so incredibly wrong... the clothing or lack there of, the music and the dance moves.

jumpinginpuddles said...

no surprises on what we might say here makes us wanna puke

Dr. Deb said...

My hubby took a look at the video and uttered one word:


Ellen said...

I agree Deb. This girls are so talented, I don't like to see them exploited in such a way.


Xmichra said...

I am with ~Just Me Again~ where maybe our neck of the woods is a bit more conseervative. I don't think I have ever seen a dance outfit like that on someone under 18. We have alot of rules, and untight parents.... so sequens in bad places sometimes will cause an uproar. Heck, I know parents who will not dress the girls in tight outfits (which pardon me, but i think it makes the dancing look silly, wearing baggy clothes like that).

I thought the girls were very tallented, but you can see that they are no 'natural' in some of themore provocative movements... and that should be the first clue as to why this looks wrong.

Lily said...

Ugh.. it makes me sick. I teach 6th grade, so kids not too much older than this and the things their parents let them do/watch/say horrifies me. The things they know horrify me. The things they DO horrify me. I sit back and watch them get worse and worse every year and can't say a thing because they aren't my kids and it's not my place to push my ideals and morals on them... but you can make damn sure that I do my best to make sure they understand that their behaviors outside of school have no place in my presence. They know if they ever need to talk to me, they can... and I have had girls come and talk to me about things at home that are bothering them. It makes me sad because they are just kids, they still feel like little kids but are acting like adults. I just want to hug them all and tell them to quit!

Anonymous said...

I have to say that this is highly disgusting. First of all, what kind of teacher they have, but most importantly, what kind of parents if they think its okay?
Then everybody is shocked that there are too many pedophiles. I don't want to defend them, but it's no wonder, this is pure provocation for them.