Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Sexualization of Teens & Women

This year I returned back to college to get my degree in Family Life Education. In doing so, I was I was required to write a thesis and design a program. I did research on the sexualization of teens and women related to the negative affects they have on an individuals self-esteem and mental health. I would like to share some of that with you. If I can change one individuals life, then all this time spent on blogging was well worth the time spent.
One of the common problems with teens and women today is referred to as the sexualization of teens and women. Sexualization is when a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics, and when a person is sexually objectified or made into a sexual thing for another’s use (APA Task Force). Falling into this trap of being sexualized by the media and Internet has a lot of unhealthy consequences on one’s own mental and physical health and sexual development. Sexualization leads to eating disorders, poor self image, depression, and unhealthy sexual development.
The media and Internet make it appear to be more socially acceptable to be a sexual object. The Internet glorifies pornography, prostitution and stripping so that it looks appealing to young girls. “Research has found that adolescents make use of mass media, notably TV and magazines, to learn about how important aspects of identity development-sex and gender (Connecting developmental Constructions to the Internet: Identity Presentation and Sexual Exploration in Online Teen Chat Rooms, Developmental Psychology 2006, Vol. 42, No. 3, 395-406, But, the reality is these people are preying on teens. The sex industry is a billion dollar industry in the United States. A lot of these girls or boys, who get involved in this kind of lifestyle end up prostituting, being raped, or sold off to the highest bidder as a sex slave and when they are done with you, they throw you away like trash on the street. “It’s a thriving international business in our increasingly interconnected global economy, generating some $9 billion in profits every year” (Human Trafficking: An IntelligenceReport, These kinds of people prey on teens in chat rooms, on myspace, facebook and various social networking sources on the Internet. They lure them in by glamorizing the industry. Telling them they can make a lot of money, buy the nice clothes or material things they want. Also, there are the sexual predators that prey on girls and boys on the Internet. One of the problems with meeting people online is you don’t really know who is sitting on the other end of that computer.
Another problem that the Internet is creating is a rise in sexual addictions. Pornography is more addicting than cocaine and does not discriminate. The Internet provides easy access to pornography. All these images give boys and men an unrealistic view of women. Women are being viewed as sexual objects rather than an actual intelligent human being with emotions and vice verse. The choice that we have to make is “are we going to allow it to take over our lives?”
Not only is the Internet and the media contributing to the sexualization of teens in women, it has made it made it as though casual sex partners is socially acceptable. There is a rise in the number of sex partners one has throughout there lifetime and a rise in the number of STDs'. Oral sex has become the new kissing in today's society. Some people are not aware of the negative effects this can have on one's health. Contracting STDs' can have a negative impact on one's health throughout their lifetime. There are some STDs' that require lifetime treatments and some STDs' that can cause a woman to be infertile.
Seriously think about the consequence before you jump in the sack with the next available person. Sit down and think about, what you want from your life and is this lifestyle going to help me achieve it. Posting nude photos and videos of yourself on the Internet will follow you the rest of your life. Do you really want your children or grandchildren to someday find those photos? If you are doing it now and you have children or grandchildren, do you want them to find out what you are doing? If your having multiple sex partners do you want to share an std with your loved one or your future loved one?

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