July 4, 2016

The Sexualisation of Children

Melinda Tankard Reist

Too much too young: the sexualisation of children and what we can do about it

Have you noticed that your kids seem to be growing up too fast? That their childhoods are increasingly commodified and that they are more worried about their weight and appearance?

Children and young people are bombarded with hypersexualised messages from media and popular culture. Even small children are worried about their looks and physical appearance, shaped and conditioned at the earliest of ages by a dominant message that tells them they have to be thin, hot and sexy to be liked and accepted.

Exposed to a pornified landscape, young people are ‘acting out’ through social media and sexting, putting their bodies on display for attention and judgement. Drawing from current global literature on the subject, Melinda will explore with us how the proliferation of harmful messages contributes to a distorted view of bodies, relationships and sexuality in children and young people, hampering their healthy physical emotional and social development.

How can we address this toxic culture and raise happy, healthy and resilient kids?

“I hesitantly went to Melinda’s talk about children being sexualised in the media thinking it was going to be a sensationalist attempt to make me feel bad as a parent. During her introduction I realised it was the best 50 steps I took from the car to the auditorium and 90 minutes later, I had quantifiable evidence and authentic strategies to help educate my children against the normalisation of women and girls as sexual objects in the media –Heather Douglas, Parent

“Melinda Tankard Reist has a simple message which is powerfully delivered. With her prodigious intellect, sand blasted sense of humour and immaculate research she puts a much needed spot light on the erosion of childhood, the pornification of our environment and the commodification of young people” Adolescent psychologist, Dr Michael Carr Gregg.