The Sexualization of Childhood

Overview

Only a generation or two ago, childhood in the United States was understood to be a unique and vulnerable stage of development; a time for play and protection from adult preoccupations and responsibilities. In recent decades however, we appear to have jettisoned these norms, and the lines that separate the lifestyles of even very young children from adults are blurring. As widely known experts on the team that created this book explain, children begin formal education now in preschool, dress like adults, listen ...

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The Sexualization of Childhood

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Overview

Only a generation or two ago, childhood in the United States was understood to be a unique and vulnerable stage of development; a time for play and protection from adult preoccupations and responsibilities. In recent decades however, we appear to have jettisoned these norms, and the lines that separate the lifestyles of even very young children from adults are blurring. As widely known experts on the team that created this book explain, children begin formal education now in preschool, dress like adults, listen to the same music, play the same video games, explore the same Internet sites, and watch explicit depictions of sex and violence on TV and in movies. What is the impact of immersing children in a sexualized world? The Sexualization of Childhood first explains the nature of healthy sexual development. It then describes the ways in which children are being sexualized, and the physical and psychological consequences. It then looks at the lower and lower age at which girls are experiencing puberty, that reduction being fueled by the pseudoestrogens in so many of our foods and products, as well as obesity. Finally, it examines what we can do legally, politically, and as caregivers to protect children from developmentally inappropriate sexual experiences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"All of the chapters are clearly written and heavily referenced. A valuable addition to the 'Childhood in America' series, which Olfman edits. . . . Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers."

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Choice

"Although this volume is intended for nonacademic readers, it is worth the purchase price for the voluminous footnotes.

The authors are a diverse group who present ample evidence for their arguments. . . . I also read this as a mother and found it helpful as a launching pad for conversations I had been putting off."

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Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

"The volume fully brings to one place the best and worst examples of the sexualization of children, and many chapters review up-to-date research."

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PsycCRITIQUES

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275999858
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/2008
  • Series: Childhood in America Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

SHARNA OLFMAN is Series Editor for the Praeger series Childhood in America. A Clinical Psychologist and Full Professor of Developmental Psychology at Point Park University, she is also Founding Director of the annual Childhood and Society Symposium held at the university. Olfman is the author or editor of six previous Praeger books, including All Work and No Play (2003), Childhood Lost (2005), No Child Left Different, (2006), and Bipolar Children (2007).

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Table of Contents

1 The Sexualization of Childhood: Growing Older Younger/Growing Younger Older Sharna Olfman Olfman, Sharna

I Growing Up in a Sexualized Culture

2 Pornography, Lad Mags, Video Games, and Boys: Reviving the Canary in the Cultural Coal Mine Matthew B. Ezzell Ezzell, Matthew B.

3 A Royal Juggernaut: The Disney Princesses and Other Commercialized Threats to Creative Play and the Path to Self-Realization for Young Girls Susan Linn Linn, Susan

4 Girls Gone Grown-Up: Why Are U.S. Girls Reaching Puberty Earlier and Earlier? Sandra Steingraber Steingraber, Sandra

5 Something's Happening Here: Sexual Objectification, Body Image Distress, and Eating Disorders Margo Maine Maine, Margo

6 So Sexy, So Soon: The Sexualization of Childhood Diane E. Levin Levin, Diane E.

7 Still on the Auction Block: The (S)exploitation of Black Adolescent Girls in Rap(e) Music and Hip-Hop Culture Carolyn M. West West, Carolyn M.

II Sexualization and Child Sexual Abuse

8 The Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth: Redefining Victimization Sharon W. Cooper Cooper, Sharon W.

9 Childified Women: How the Mainstream Porn Industry Sells Child Pornography to Men Gail Dines Dines, Gail

10 Prostitution and the Sexualization of Children Melissa Farley Farley, Melissa

Series Afterword Sharna Olfman Olfman, Sharna

Notes

Index

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