Monday, September 21, 2009

This Is What Happens When We Sexualize Children At A Young Age

Parents get arrested for taking bathtub photos of their kids. We have these photos. Friends have these photos. One family has these photos framed and displayed in their bathroom to this day (and the kids are all grown up).

But when we question whether a doll that breastfeeds is inappropriate for a young girl to play with . . . when we dress our young daughters like miniature versions of ourselves (or worse, ourselves in our Forever 21 days) . . . when we fetishize teen girls and hold the age of 16 as the age to which we should forever aspire . . . when we confuse biological development with emotional maturity . . . .

The result is the conclusion that a naked child is a sexual object. Breastfeeding a baby doll is a sexual act. Scantily dressed preteens are sexually aware and wise. And it screws over women of all ages.

Abstinence pledges seem pointless these days - we've already lost our collective innocence if toddlers playing in a tub or running around the house naked makes us question whether they are being sexually abused or pimped out as instruments of pornography.

4 comments:

monkeymom22 said...

This scenario happened to me when I was young. I was staying with a family friend while my parents were out of town and he took some photos of me just out of the bath. The photo developer contacted the police and they had to come "interview" me to make sure nothing untoward had happened. Just think of all the complications digital photography adds to this issue.

cd said...

Without more information on how young you were and how close a family friend this is, I can't help but have a negative reaction to your anecdote.

Also - digital photography doesn't change the issue. Just makes it cheaper to process (because you don't have to process) photos.

Anonymous said...

Being an adult now and having known this person almost all my life, I believe wholeheartedly there was no inappropriate intent. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

The issue with digital photography is that people who do photograph children in sexual ways can do so without worrying someone will "catch them" when a third party is developing their photos.

But I completely agree with you that this mentality of sexualizing children is very sad indeed.

ETA: For some reason my Open ID wasn't working for me to post under my user name, monkeymom22

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