By Lisa Cherry
When my friend passed me an article about a new study on the sexiness of six- to nine-year-olds, my ears perked up.
Psychologists at Knox College showed sixty girls sets of paper dolls, some dressed as “sexy” and others in “trendy but covered up” garb. Then they asked the girls questions. Which one did they look like? Which was popular? Which one did they want to play with?
I’m the mom of a tall-for-her-age, ten-year-old daughter. I have been concerned about my little girl looking like a teeny bopper since she hit the little girl’s department. According to this study, I was right to be concerned.
Should we be surprised that our young girls think they are supposed to be sexy?
Perhaps you may not have time to read through this whole article, so let me give you what I considered the most interesting nugget:
…mothers who reported often using TV and movies as teaching moments about bad behaviors and unrealistic scenarios were much less likely to have daughters who said they looked like the sexy doll. The power of maternal instruction during media viewing may explain why every additional hour of TV- or movie-watching actually decreased the odds by 7 percent that a girl would choose the sexy doll as popular…
Moms, I can see hope here! How about you? Even the researchers see our importance to our little girls.
However, I was intrigued that 100% avoidance of media influence did not appear to be the complete answer. Supervised watching with careful decoding was the best in the researchers' estimation.
Could it be because of the extreme saturation of sex and sexual images in our culture? It would be almost impossible for "complete isolation" if our children are customers at Wal-Mart.
Perhaps some mother-daughter nights should be in our futures? I will not allow my girls to wallow in the pit of the media.
But neither will I allow them to be naive a bout the cultural forces and images trying to steal their innocence.
They need mom's voice! And mom's careful monitoring and instruction.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia