Sexualizing the children of N Ireland

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The Belfast Telegraph on Friday had an article by Victoria O'Hara warning that the sexualization of kids for commercial gain is at harmful levels.

The article quotes Professor Diane Lavin, author of 'So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and what Parents Can Do To Protect Their Kids' who was visiting N. Ireland.
Professor Lavin claimed that

'The promotion of of certian products, toys and clothing are harmful to girls' self image and healthy developement'.

She continues "It is not the fact that children are learning about sex when they are young that is the problem, the problem is what todays sexualised environment is teaching them"...

..."All of the strategies combined get girls focused on having skinny bodies and buying clothes, make-up and accessories that make you look 'pretty', 'grown-up' and 'sexy'."

I would like to thank Victoria O'Hara for writing this article and bringing it into the news, it is certainly something that society should be concerned about and that we as parents need to be aware of.
It is bad enough when we look around and see ladies who have been so programmed by the sexual environment around us that they see this criteria as necessary and see a woman's 'value' according to how well she fits into the 'sexy' image, but for much younger girls to be thinking this way is just sick.

This issue was raised in The New York Times a short while back which included a quote by author Rosalind Wiseman:

"Mothers and fathers do really crazy things with the best of intentions. I don't care how it's couched, if you're permitting this with your daughter, you are hyper-sexualizing her. It's one thing to have them play around with makeup at home within the bubble of the family. But once it shifts to another context, you are taking away the play and creating a consumer, and frankly, you run the risk of having one more person who feels she's not good enough if she's not buying the stuff."

This is a very real issue that we must face, and one that is highly neglected within the church. I remember being in a Christian meeting where everyone sat in a circle. This was so uncomfortable because for a while some of the 13-16 year old girls who attended had skirts so short that us guys on the other side of the room had to look at the carpet or the ceiling.
The Church has been far to silent on issues relating to sex and sexuality, seemingly either afraid or unable to give answers.

The Bible exhorts women to "adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works."

And that

"Older women... be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-- that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."

We should exalt these things to our young ladies within the church, having the older ladies and parents role model them for the children.

I personnally think the issue goes further than simply the clothes or the make-up etc, we have become worshippers of the human body above all else, and of course what we worship as adults in society is going to be what our children worship. Sex and the human body is the biggest religion in the world, we have worshipped the created being and turned from the creator God.
Of course our children will follow our example, following us toward cosmetic surgery in order to be pretty or sexy, copying the 'role model's' of our culture in how they dress etc.

On this topic Albert Mohler said:
"Why would parents allow, much less encourage, the sexualization of their young daughters? True beauty is a matter of godly character, not of external appearance. We are setting these young girls up for disaster in more than one form."

And I think he brings us to the realization that dressing our children modestly and being careful with their toys etc, though good, is not ultimately the answer. Jesus is.
In Him alone true value is found and our hearts & lives are changed. Godly character is that which we ought to promote in our children.

The Book of Proverbs asks "Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies." this is not realy something that our society promotes in girls, rather I think we place more value on the 'pornstar' and the 'great lay' than we do on virtue and purity.