Friday, August 10, 2007

The Consequences of Sexualization

The American Psychological Association has posted a report stating that consequences to teenage girls brought about by the sexualization of girls is having potentially disastrous mental health effects, not to mention the potentially devastating physical and sexual consequences that follow.

Studies reveal that sexual exploitation and encouraging sexual expression in the media have been factors in teenage girls posting nude photos of themselves on the internet, allowing their boyfriends to take nude photos, and filming amatuer pornograhic videos. But the long-term effects of this sexualization are even more startling. The study reveals that sexualization (which happens all the time in the media) can lead to cognitive and emotional consequences (such as poor body image, feelings of shame and anxiety), mental and physical health issues (eating disorders and depression), and impaired sexual development (a healthy view of sex and sexuality).

“As a society, we need to replace all of these sexualized images with ones showing girls in positive settings—ones that show the uniqueness and competence of girls,” said Zurbriggen. “The goal should be to deliver messages to all adolescents—boys and girls—that lead to healthy sexual development.”

But this needed message can only come through a biblical, God-centered view of sex and sexuality. Culture needs to see strong Christian men and women with a healthy, biblical view of sex and sexuality, as well as a proper understanding of gender and gender roles within culture and the family.


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