Too Sexy Too Soon

They call it “Corporate Pedophilia.”

It’s when corporate America sells out by pimping material to our kids that they know is slowly destroying them.

This 8-minute ABC video is a must see. I post my two cents below. I’d like yours too! The video not only reminds us of the American Psychological Association’s research about the harmful effects of the sexualization of young girls- research that I’ve shared with you before, but it also shows you some great examples of this in the media today in tween role models like Miley, Katy, Ashley Tisdale, Amanda Bynes, etc.

Click here for the corresponding ABC News article.

Thoughts? Post your comments. Here’s mine…

My two cents: I thought the video was a great summary of the challenges parents face today raising emotionally-healthy girls. I’m really glad that the report was bold enough to take some pokes at music. Doctors have been warning us about these influences for years now… parents just aren’t listening.

I also liked it when New York Magazine’s Alex Morris, who recently reported on tweens fashion, chimed in with some great lines- like these:

“You go into a juniors department, you have a rack of clothing that is appropriate for an 11-year-old next to a rack of clothing that isn’t. It’s certainly blurring the lines. … It’s making it harder for parents to set boundaries.”

Then, talking about teen celebs like Miley, Britney, etc…

“The easiest way for a female celebrity to sort of transition from being a child star to an adult star– the pathway is through their sexuality.”

My last thought. The report makes it clear. “All this sexuality is harmful.” Could this officially be called “ironic,” that ABC, creator of shows like Desperate Housewives and Couger Town are reporting this to be harmful?

Hmmmmmm.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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11 Responses to Too Sexy Too Soon

  1. Also ironic that Madonna has any standards for her own daughter when she led so many others way astray. I wonder if she would admit to regrets over stunts she’s pulled on MTV?

    I guess we just need to keep buying Taylor Swift albums and pray she keeps her head on straight.

  2. Joseph says:

    Two and a Half Men is actually CBS, but there’s tons of examples from ABC’s lineup, too. Desperate Housewives, Cougar Town, the Bachelor(ette), Bachelor Pad, and on and on…

  3. Oh snap! You’re right Joseph! Ha. I’ll change it real quick. (those of you who are reading Joseph’s and my comments… shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!)

  4. Todd says:

    Hey ABC thanks for pointing out the obvious. Not only Two and a Half Men…what about The Bachelor, Bachelor Pad, The Bachelorette, Boston Med, Brothers & Sisters, Cougar Town, Dating in the Dark, Desperate Housewives, The Gates, and Grey’s Anatomy???

    So I guess the real question is what can we (as parents and youth workers) do to help our tween girls? How do we get them to see the dangers that are so obvious to us?

  5. Joshua Gerber says:

    The best part about the video was they actually showed a mother who did set boundaries for her daughter. I just entered the world of being a dad with the birth of my son, and seeing how things are progressing now, his purity is going to be attacked so much sooner than it ever should have been and I have to help him guard it. We have a huge responsibility to teach our own families and youth groups, to go counter cultural to the messages they are seeing all the more. Of course there is going to be a lot of resistance, but our voices need to speak louder into their lives than those of Hollywood and the Red Carpet.

  6. It’s striking to me that (today) Madonna is beginning to embrace her responsibilities as a parent, and says in the video, “Moms say no.” Oh, how I wish Madonna would have said “no” several times in the past (kissing Britney, wardrobe choices, messages in music, etc).

    But let’s be careful not to call out a witch hunt on Madonna; there are plenty of other celebs pushing the exact same twisted message.

    Nor should we single out one TV network (ABC or CBS). They ALL have shows that blur lines for kids, and send mixed messages. Case in point: MTV.

    During one programming block, MTV says, “Being a teenage mom is tough,” with their somewhat responsible programming called “16 and Pregnant.” Then, the same channel features a show called “The Challenge: Cutthroat,” where the hook up culture is paraded and celebrated before teen viewers.

    As parents and youth workers, we have to choose.

    I just wish the media (print, TV, music, movies, web, etc) would finally choose as well.

    David R Smith

  7. Erin Fritsch says:

    It’s great to see a media source finally start to step up and report honestly on what all this is doing to our girls. I was happy to see them point out some of the “good girls” in the music industry who we rarely hear about. I also loved the mom comment about how she’s not her daughter’s friend, she’s her mom, and maybe they’ll be good friends when she’s 30. I plan to pass this on to the parents in my ministry areas. We need to have honest discussions about this stuff and help our girls know how to make good decisions.

  8. Jon forreSt says:

    I wish madonnas daughter would’ve said, “mama don’t preach.” the people marketing this junk to tween girls have obviously never been a tween boy. The line where the guy talks about tween girls finding out who they are reminded me of how sad it is that they don’t have a chance to decide…obviously Seventeen magazine tells them who they have to be. Btw I used the Taylor swift music discussion (awesome,thanks) last week. I showed the video but her clothes in that vid barely made my cut. I’m not prepared for my daughter to shop in the swift section.

  9. Matt Pilla says:

    Could it be that ABC would run a story like this every once in a while in an attempt to still set themselves up as a legitimate moral authority? All the while, they hope the general public won’t make the connection. I personally think that while they push this agenda (via Desperate Housewives, etc) they feel obligated to make parents feel bad for falling for it, too. Its an attack on EVERY generation! I did like the anchor’s quote at the end, even though I don’t believe he meant it. They’re our daughters!!

  10. It would be silly of us to judge the motives of a specific newscaster working for ABC. I don’t know whether the newscaster who did this report cares about our daughters or not. But I’m confident of the fact that the execs at ABC don’t care– they are all about the bottom line. Desperate Housewives creates $$.

  11. Mr Dan says:

    If we consider the other side of this, Dads have a big role too. Specifically in teaching their sons first, what a true lady is, then how to treat that lady. The reported effects of this scare me if we don’t raise our boys up right. If we can teach our young men how to view and treat women, maybe the appeal of this would dissipate.
    ~ Dan Zimmerman