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The Real Danger of Sexualizing Young Girls

Posted: 09/21/11 03:50 PM ET

I did a TV interview in 2009 on the topic of "teen girls are swapping sex for ... just about anything."

The debate was between the author of Oral Sex Is The New Goodnight Kiss, Sharlene Azam, an Edmonton journalist, and me.

The interviewer first asked Azam where she got her research from. Azam replied that it was from her investigative reporting into this event; as well as her observations captured in her documentary film of the same name.

"Hmmmm..." I thought, trying hard not to roll my eyes, "no scientific backing."

How many times have I come across a story or book that can have such a profound impact which is based on nothing but observation? It's a crime this junk stuff ever gets published.

I countered by saying that at least once a year media grabs the next "is the sexual morality of our young women in peril?" headline and runs with it. Not because it's going to educate the masses on responsible teen education, but because these types of headlines sell.

Unfortunately, the end result is another generation of parents becoming unnecessarily paranoid about their children's conduct. This results in yet another young generation of women who suffer the burden of carrying a ton of shame about their sexuality for the rest of their lives.

Will the madness never end? (I never said that on camera but I sure wanted to.)

Not deterred, after more debate Azam went onto say, "Young girls are being molded to be objects as seen in porn."

It was then I wanted to jump through the live-feed-from-Calgary camera and give this woman a good shake. How am I supposed to infuse any logic with nervous parents when people like her keep perpetuating these harmful and absolutely unfounded girls-are-either-Madonnas-or-whores dogma?

Of course, a parent is terrified that their daughter can so easily fall prey to being objectified as a porn object. Especially considering the overt sexuality of Britney Spears and the Pussy Cat Dolls, porn objects seem to be everywhere.

This is where the overall "the sexual morality of our young women" debate turns into a logic versus emotion battle -- and emotion will win every time.

Here's the deal on protecting your young woman's morality: It's been scientifically proven over and over that a child who receives a comprehensive sex education will make the best choices sexually because they have a high sexual self-esteem. It is not up to the high schools to teach sex ed, rather the parents to give this comprehensive sex education.

Click here to access a education, sex-positive website: Go Ask Alice.

And please, when you hear the next 'our girl's morality is in peril' news story, appreciate the stories as sensation and often unfounded. More importantly, they are doing more harm then good.

 
 
 

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