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Here are some current Canadian facts about the damages caused by sexualisation in our culture.
Almost half a million girls in Canada have posted Youtube videos of themselves asking “Am I pretty, or am I ugly?” 90% of girls say the fashion industry and media puts a lot of pressure on them to be thin.
Women in movies are much more likely than men to show exposed skin, be dressed provocatively, and have an “unrealistic body ideal.”
Research shows that seeing sexualized images of women causes many girls to be highly critical of their bodies, increasing feelings of shame, anxiety and self-disgust. When children are sexualized in media, 85% of them are girls.
Emphasis on masculine prowess starts early. For instance, clothing available for infant boys include messages like “Now Accepting Hot Girlfriends,” “Chick Magnet,” and “Pimp Squad”
22% of all teen girls say they have electronically sent or posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves, a third of those pictures go to someone they want to date or hook up with.
Almost 66% of elementary school girls say they are “happy the way I am.” But this feeling of self-esteem drops over the next five years by more than half and by high school only 29% are happy with the way they are.
Until the age of 9, African-American boys do just as well as their peers academically; around 3rd grade, when being seen as masculine and macho becomes important, drop-out rates and truancy begin to climb while grades and test scores begin to fall.
Media messages have become so powerful and pervasive that mass media is acting as a “super-peer, dictating what is cool or expected, particularly in matters of adolescent sex. ”
Children and adolescents are exposed to media content 8.5 hours a day, including an average of 40,000 commercial messages annually, or about 100 per day from all sources – providing marketers an unprecedented level of direct access.