Calling All Fathers: Save the Girls Kathleen Parker February 28, 2007

When it comes to figuring out what’s gone wrong with our culture, we can usually rely on the American Psychological Association (APA) to catch on last.

Thus, it came to pass a few days ago that the APA released its findings that American girls are sexualized. And that’s bad.

Leonard Rubenstein, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights, speaks at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in New Orleans, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2006. (AP Photo/Judi Bottoni) If you missed the headlines, it may be because of stiff competition from the breaking news that Anna Nicole is still dead and Britney is still disturbed.

Irony doesn’t get to be ironic when it’s that conspicuous.

The APA report found that girls are sexualized in nearly every medium and product — from ads and video games to clothing, cosmetics and even dolls. Anyone who has walked down an American street the past few years has seen the effects — little girls dressed as tartlets and teens decked in bling, while mom takes pole-dancing lessons at the gym.

We shouldn’t need a scientific study to tell us that sexualizing children is damaging, but apparently common sense isn’t what it used to be. We can now assert with confidence that most of the primarily girl pathologies — eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression — can be linked to an oversexualization that encourages girls to obsess about body image and objectify themselves.

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