Sexualization In Media

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Introduction Sexualization in the media is nothing new, but over recent years the media has shifted its focus on a younger generation. The topic of sexualization in the media is very relevant and real problem today that holds very strong opinions on both sides. In recent years, women in the media have been sexualized more and at younger ages. As a young woman this has affected me indirectly and directly several times through out my life. The release of the 2011 French Vogue Issue, however, left readers with many mixed feelings about the issue and a storm of controversy arose. While many readers where disappointed and shocked, director/ stylist Mélanie Huynh and photographed by Sharif Hamza were happy with the outcome of issue: “it’s the most…show more content…
Why are young girls being sexualized this much? Is there a rise in the incidents of pedophilia because of this sexualization? In order to fully understand the direction of this paper, the term sexualization needs to be defined clearly. The concept of sexualization intensified as the media, and the technology surrounding it, developed further. The concept of sexualization is linked to the process of socialization (Niebrugge-Brantley, n.d.). Through socialization people learn and develop their own gender identity. Niebrugge-Brantley explains the inevitable cycle of socialization sexualization: “The sexualization of girls teaches girls—and through it girls learn—that to be successful group members they must be, among and in addition to other qualities, sexually attractive to boys/men. The sexualization of girls teaches that being an object of male sexual desire is a sine qua non of being a successful girl—other things may also be required, but this is basic.” (Niebrugge-Brantley, n.d.) The sexualization in the media has made girls around the world think poorly about their body; some of the effects sexualizing has had on girls is low self-esteem, promiscuous behavior, distorted body image and reduces intellectual performance (Duits & Zoonen,…show more content…
The reason for this is it is difficult to isolate clear evidence that links sexualized images of young girls and pedophilia (Rush & La Nauze, 2006). As Gert Hekma states, relationships between adults and children of both sexes were taboo in Western societies (Hekma, n.d.). Although there has been no direct link between the sexualization of children and their vulnerability to pedophiles, the possibility of there being such a link has caused concern. Hekma defines pedophilia in an academic manner: pedophilia is the preference for prepubescent children (Hekma, n.d.). The problem with this definition is it doesn’t go into age limits (of childhood, adolescence, adulthood) and the age limit of these stages of life change over time (Hekma, n.d.). An example of this change is the age girls begin to menstruate has decreased by twenty months (from 13.5 to 12) (Hekma, n.d.). The DSM-IV defines Pedophilia as “The paraphilic focus of Pedophilia involves sexual activity with a prepubescent child (generally age 13 years or younger)” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p571-2). The subject of pedophilia can be a bit of a spectrum, some individuals are exclusive (only sexually attracted to children) and others are nonexclusive (sometimes attracted to adults). People only qualify to be diagnosed for pedophilia if they have arousal patterns and act on their urges and fantasies with children (American Psychiatric

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