Although extensive analyses documenting the sexualization of girls, in particular, have yet to be conducted, individual examples can easily be found.These include advertisements (e.g., the Skechers “naughty and nice” ad that featured Christina Aguilera dressed as a schoolgirl in pigtails, with her shirt unbuttoned, licking a lollipop), dolls (e.g., Bratz dolls dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings and feather boas), clothing (thongs sized for 7– to 10-year-olds, some printed with slogans such as “wink wink”), and television programs (e.g., a televised fashion show in which adult models in lingerie were presented as young girls).Research documenting the pervasiveness and influence of such products and portrayals is sorely needed.Societal messages that contribute to the sexualization of girls come not only from media and merchandise but also through girls’ interpersonal relationships (e.g., with parents, teachers, and peers; Brown & Gilligan, 1992).
Furthermore, the percentage of sexualizing ads increased over time.
Parents may contribute to sexualization in a number of ways.
For example, parents may convey the message that maintaining an attractive physical appearance is the most important goal for girls.
In study after study, findings have indicated that women more often than men are portrayed in a sexual manner (e.g., dressed in revealing clothing, with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness) and are objectified (e.g., used as a decorative object, or as body parts rather than a whole person).
In addition, a narrow (and unrealistic) standard of physical beauty is heavily emphasized.