In the News

Below is a roundup of recent articles about the sexualization phenomenon from the popular and scholarly presses. Have something you’d like to see here? Let us know.

The Adult Bodies Playing Teens on TV (Slate, December 13, 2017)

How Black Women’s Bodies are Violated As Soon As They Enter School (The Guardian, August 16, 2017)

Did You Know: Children in Poverty Hit Puberty Faster (Eyewitness News, June 2, 2017)

I’ll Tell You Where all the Good Men Have Gone (Elephant Journal, April 13, 2017)

Incredible Dumbness of Adults Still Undercuts Little Girls (The Star, February 17, 2017)

Sexy or Sexist? Campaign (DoSomething.Org, December 2016)

Are Young Girls ‘More Severely Punished’ than Boys? (The Crime Report, October 11, 2016)

What Happens After Yes? (Harvard EdCast, August 31, 2016)

More Teenage Girls Seeking Genital Cosmetic Surgery (New York Times, April 25, 2016)

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers [book] (Mary Jo Sales, Knopf, 2016)

Why Do We Teach Girls That It’s Cute to Be Scared? (New York Times, Feb. 20, 2016)

Study: Better-looking Female Students Enjoy Higher Grades in the Classroom (Slate, Jan. 5, 2016)

Sexting, Porn and Raunch to Form Part of ‘Respectful Relationships’ Classes (The Age, December 6, 2015)

Let Girls be Girls: Growing up Too Soon in Neighborhoods of Concentrated Poverty (Urban Wire, October 28, 2015)

Your Daughter Wants a Sexy Halloween Costume. How You Should Say Yes. (New York Times, October 16, 2015)

Where Have All the Tomboys Gone? (New York Times, October 13, 2015) 

Is It Now Slutoween for 7-Year-Olds? Really? (The Daily Beast, September 29, 2015)

Teen Prosecuted as Adult for Having Naked Images – of Himself – on Phone (The Guardian, September 20, 2015)

Barbie Wants to Get to Know Your Child (New York Times, September 16, 2015)

Why the Age You Get Your Period Matters — for the Rest of Your Life (Fusion, Aug. 1, 2015)

Is Facebook Use Always Associated with Poorer Body Image and Risky Dieting? (UNC School of Medicine, July 20, 2015)

New Documentary ‘The Mask You Live In’ Dissects Modern Masculinity (BitchMedia, July 20, 2015)

The Girls Matter Too: Addressing the Girls’ Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline (Huffington Post, July 9, 2015)

Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: A Closer Look at U.S. Citizen Victims (Polaris Project, June 2015)

Monica Lewinsky Is Back, but This Time It’s on Her Terms (New York Times, March 19, 2015)

What Causes Girls to Enter Puberty Early? (New York Times, February 5, 2015)

To Warn of Super Bowl Sex Trafficking Risks, Young Women Pose in Life-Size Toy Box (Huffington Post, January 28, 2015)

Grim World of Teen Porn Exposed in Sundance Documentary (The Telegraph, January 27, 2015)

Sexual Health Risks and American Adolescents (Possibilities for Change, January 20, 2015)

How Girls are Developing Earlier in an Age of ‘New Puberty’ (National Public Radio, December 2, 2014)

Boys Who Bully Peers More Likely to Engage in Sexual Harassment (University of Illinois, October 29, 2014)

Should Girl Scouts Go Back to Basics? (The Daily Beast, October 17, 2014)

Teen Hormones and Cellphones (University of Texas Medical Branch, October 6, 2014)

‘Sexual Consent’ App ‘Good 2 Go’ Causes Stir (Today, October 1, 2014)

Does Slut-shaming Start with School Dress Codes? (Al Jazeera America, September 13, 2014)

Attempting to End Rape Culture, One Community at a Time (MetroTrends Blog, August 19, 2014)

Study Identifies Digital Stressors in Youth Experiences Online (Harvard Graduate School of Education, July 24, 2014)

In ‘Sexting’ Case Manassas City Police Want to Photograph Teen in Sexually Explicit Manner, Lawyers Say (Washington Post, July 9, 2014)

‘Fraud, Force or Coercion:’ Human Trafficking in Vt. (Vermont Public Radio, July 9, 2014)

Finished Your A-levels? It’s Time for the Nose Job (The Telegraph, June 28, 2014)

Female Teens Face Double Standard for Sexting, Report Finds (Women’s eNews, June 20, 2014)

The Battle Over Dress Codes (New York Times, June 13, 2014)

Once a Bad Girl, Not Always a Bad Girl (Youth Today, March 31, 2014)

Sorry Belle Knox, Porn Still Oppresses Women (The Week, March 7, 2014)

Does Peer Pressure Drive Sexting? (PsychCentral, February 24, 2014)

In Texting Era, Crisis Hotlines Put Help at Youth’s Fingertips (New York Times, February 5, 2014)

Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males (Children’s Mental Health Network, February 5, 2014)

The Risks Girls in Disadvantaged Communities Face (Metro Trends Blog, January 30, 2014)

Depression and Drug Use Risk Rises as Teen Boys Struggle with Body Image (All Voices, January 28, 2014)

The Mask You Live In – Trailer (Representation Project, January 1, 2014)

‘Men are Stuck’ in Gender Roles, Data Suggest (Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2013)

Do All-Girls Schools Breed Feminists or Mean Girls? (Time Health & Family, December 18, 2013)

Kate Olp: MoveOn Changemaker [Video] (, November 6, 2013)

Early Puberty in Girls Linked to Obesity… Again (Forbes, November 5, 2013)

Experts Available to Discuss Halloween Costumes, Body Image, Sexualization of Girls (American Psychological Association, October 21, 2013)

Teens Are Still Developing Empathy Skills (Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2013)

City Unveils Campaign to Improve Girls’ Self-Esteem (New York Times, September 30, 2013)

Friends Without Benefits (Vanity Fair, September 26, 2013)

Sharing, With a Safety Net (New York Times, September 19, 2013)

Toddlers Denied Tiaras: Behind the French Push to Ban Pageants (The Daily Beast, September 19, 2013)

Girls Tweeting (Not Twerking) Their Way to Power (New York Times, September 4, 2013)

Judge Apologizes for Remarks about Teen Rape Victim (Billings Gazette, August 28, 2013)

More than 100 Teens Rescued in Weekend Sex-Trafficking Raids (NBC News, July 29, 2013)

Girls Talk: The Sexualization of Girls (American Psychological Association, July 23, 2013)

Advocacy Group’s Report Says T.V. Pairs Teen Girl Characters, Sexual Exploitation for Laughs (The Washington Post, July 9, 2013)

Father’s Day’s Best Kept Secret — Women’s Sex Lives are Profoundly Influenced by the Relationship with Their Fathers (Huffington Post, June 14, 2013)

Study Says You’re a Slut Because Daddy Wasn’t There for You. Study Has No Clue. (Slate, June 11, 2013)

Minimize Summer Cyberbullying: 3 Tips (Penobscot Bay Pilot, June 11 2013)

Nonprofits and Online Activism Target Abercrombie and Fitch (Nonprofit Quarterly, June 11, 2013)

Minnesota High School Cheerleader Accused of Sex Trafficking, Prostitution of 16-Year-Old Teammate (ABC News, June 5, 2013)

Treating Sexual Violence in War-Torn Countries (Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, June 5, 2013)

My Oh MySpace — Sexualization in Social Media Profile Photos (SPARK Research Blog, June 3, 2013)

‘Sexy Merida’ Pulled by Disney After Backlash (Yahoo Movie Talk, May 15, 2013)

Brave Director Criticizes Disney’s ‘Sexualised’ Princess Merida Redesign (The Guardian, May 13, 2013)

How Mothers are Using Social Games to Educate Children on Women’s Rights (Forbes, May 12, 2013)

From White Slavery to Bratz Dolls (, May 12, 2013)

Sex Trafficking Survivor Reflects on Cleveland Kidnap Case, Offers Victims Advice (ABC News, May 10, 2013)

Sexy Clothing Marketed to Teens, Tweens and Little Girls (KUTV, May 7, 2013)

Enough Said (Vermont Works for Women, April 30, 2013)

The UnSlut Project: A New Tumblr is the ‘It Gets Better’ of Slut-Shaming (XX Factor, April 26, 2013)

Even Candy Land Isn’t Safe From Sexy (The Atlantic, April 25, 2013)

Boys Guilty in Fairfax ‘Sexting’ Case (The Washington Post, April 18, 2013)

SLU Professor; Widespread Sexualization of Girls a Myth (Watertown Daily Times, April 11, 2013)

Southwest Portland’s Janice Levenhagen-Seeley Starts ChickTech to Spark Young Girls’ Interest in Technology (The Oregonian, April 11, 2103)

Dolls Without Makeup, By Nickolay Lamm (Huffington Post, April 10, 2013)

As Media Coverage of a Female Candidate’s Appearance Go Up, Her Chances of Winning Go Down (Think Progress, April 8, 2013)

The Sexualization of Our Teens is Becoming Endemic (The Jerusalem Post, April 8, 2013)

Entire School Year Groups Have Seen Porn, Children’s Watchdog Says (The Telegraph, April 3, 2013)

EU Porn Ban Distracts from Larger Issues for Women and Girls (Policy Mic, April 3, 2013)

Could Sex Ed Prevent Another Steubenville? (Answer, April 2, 2013)

Amanda Todd-Inspired PSA Tells Girls to Stop Sexting (Policy Mic, April 1, 2013)

Surprise: Women in Media are Sexualized and Underemployed (SPARK Movement, March 29, 2013)

The Right-Wing Disinformation Campaign Against Victoria’s Secret (Jezebel, March 29, 2013)

California’s Second Lady: Games Need to ‘Think Bigger’ About Portrayals of Women (Venture Beat, March 27, 2013)

An American Tragedy in Steubenville (Huffington Post, March 17, 2013)

Internet Porn Means Birds n’ Bees Talk Comes Earlier, Expert Says (Today Tech, March 10, 2013)

The Power of an Educated Woman: ‘Girl Rising’ Movie Review (New York Times, March 7, 2013)

Cops File Complaint Against 9-Year-Old Rapper’s Father Over Son’s Sexually Explicit Video (News One, February 25, 2013)

The Rate of Cyber Dating Abuse among Teens and How it Relates to Other Forms of Teen Dating Violence (Urban Institute, February 20, 2013)

A Game Aims to Draw Attention to Women’s Issues (New York Times, February 17, 2013)

New UN Report Says Human Trafficking Found in 118 Countries, Majority of Victims are Women (The Washington Post, February 12, 2013)

Don’t Believe Everything You See: Sexualization of Women in Ads Remains a Problem in Canada (Canada Newswire, February 11, 2013)

Teen Sex Videos Don’t Warrant Criminal Charges, Defense Attorneys Say (The Washington Post, February 5, 2013)

The Sexy Lie: Caroline Heldman at TEDxYouth@SanDiego (You Tube, January 20, 2013)

30 Percent of Teen Girls Meet Online ‘Friends’ Offline, Study Finds (Digital Life Today, January 16, 2013)

The Internationalization of Women’s Issues (New York Times, January 8, 2013)

Online ‘Shaming’ A New Level of Cyberbullying for Girls (National Public Radio, January 7, 2013)

Another Look at a Drink Ingredient, Brominated Vegetable Oil (New York Times, December 12, 2012)

Smart-Girl Tackles Tween Angst with Team Building (The Denver Post, December 9, 2012)

Hundreds of Websites Urging Girls to ‘Starve for Perfection’ (The Independent, November 28, 2012)

Muscular Body Image Lures Boys into Gym, and Obsession (New York Times, November 19, 2012)

Swedish School’s Big Lesson Begins with Dropping Personal Pronouns (New York Times, November 13, 2012)

Female TV and Film Characters Still Side-lined and Sexualized, Study Finds (Huffington Post, November 13, 2012)

Coordinating Council Addresses Girls and the Juvenile Justice System (OJJDP News, November 1, 2012)

Killing Sexy Halloween: The Ethical and Practical Complications (The Atlantic, October 30, 2012)

Sexy Breast Cancer Campaigns Anger Many Patients (USA Today, October 30, 2012)

Puberty for Girls is Now Starting Five Years Earlier (Business Insider, October 23, 2012)

Boys Now Enter Puberty Younger, Study Suggests, but it’s Unclear Why (New York Times, October 20, 2012)

Barneys’ Skinny Disney Characters Prompt Petition (Huffington Post, October 12, 2012)

Why We Should Take Fewer  Pictures of Our Children (New York Times, October 12, 2012)

On the Day of the Girl, Critical Look at Hypersexualization (Illume, October 11, 2012)

Sexting, 3 Reasons Why Teens Should Think Twice About Sexting (Teen Life, October 11, 2012)

Don’t Sexualize Girls in the Media, Say Experts (The Epoch Times, October 8, 2012)

Orioles Mom: There’s no Princess in Baseball, OK? (Christian Science Monitor, October 8, 2012)

Beyond Pink and Blue (Psychology Today, September 21, 2012)

No Surprise to Find Kids Wading Into Digital Swamp (McAlester News-Capital, September 13, 2012)

Raise Children, Not Consumers (Huffington Post, September 5, 2012)

Report: Birds, Bees and Bias (New York Civil Liberties Union, September 2012)

Lego Goes to the Girls: New Products Feminist or Sexist? (Los Angeles Times, August 31, 2012)

When Kids Play Across Gender Lines (CNN Living, August 27, 2012)

Department of Homeland Security Partners with Girl Scouts (United Press International, August 22, 2012)

Preliminary Findings of ACLU “Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes” Campaign (American Civil Liberties Union, August 20, 2012)

New Study Finds More Tween Girls are Gaming (Kidscreen, August 16, 2012)

Why a Female Scientist in a Pink Dress Is No Hero to Girls (Harvard Business Review, August 6, 2012)

Sexual Coercion and the Sexualization of Black Girls (American Psychological Association, August 2, 2012) 

Female Athletes’ Endorsement Opportunities Hindered by Sexualization (Huffington Post, August 1, 2012)

Girl Talk: What High School  Senior Girls Have to Say About Sex, Love and Relationships (The National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy, July 30, 2012)

UM Study: Sexting May Be Normal Dating Behavior for Internet Generation (CBS Detroit, July 24, 2012)

Depression Triples between Ages of 12 and 15 among Adolescent Girls  (SAMHSA Data Spotlight, July 19, 2012)

Shedding Light on the Role of Technology in Child Sex Trafficking (Microsoft, July 18, 2012)

Psychologists Reveal Why Even 6-Year-Old Girls Want to Be Sexy (Medical Daily, July 17, 2012)

Too Sexy, Too Soon? Not if You’re Hanging Out at the Barre (Pacific Standard, July 16, 2012)

Hypersexualization of Tweens and Teens (Canadian Counseling and Psychotherapy Association, July 12, 2012)

Teens Confront Sexualization of Girls in Media (Boston Globe, July 11, 2012)

When Are Girls Old Enough for a Bikini Wax? (Today, July 10, 2012)

Baby ‘Bikini’ Onesie from Gordsmans has Parents Outraged (Huffington Post, July 3, 2012)

Report: ‘Sexting’ Among Teens More Common Than Previously Thought (WBUR, July 3, 2012)

The Oversexualization of Girls (The Examiner, June 30, 2012)

Why ‘Pinkifying’ Science Does More Harm Than Good (Skepchick, June 22, 2012)

My Dad Taught Me That My Sex Appeal Matters Most to Men (Psychology Today, June 21, 2012)

Maine Teenager Fights Airbrushing In Teen Fashion Magazines, (WBUR, June 15, 2012)

European Parliament Studies Sexualisation of Girls in the Media (European Women’s Lobby, June 14, 2012)

What’s Sex Got To Do With It? (SSIReview, Summer 2012)

Study Finds TV Can Decrease Self-Esteem in Children, Except White Boys (Newswise, May 30, 2012)

Saying ‘No’ to Picture Perfect  (NYT, May 16, 2012)

 A Real Girl, 14, Takes a Stand Against the Flawless Faces in Magazines (NYT, May 3, 2012)

Teen Girl Petitions Seventeen Magazine to Stop Air-Brushing Models (Yahoo, May 2, 2012)

Four-Year Old in Makeup—How Young is Too Young? (ABC, April 30, 2012)

Study: Female Movie Characters More Likely to be in Sexual or Violent Scenes (Annenburg Public Policy Center, April 26, 2012)

Online Petition Charges LEGO with Creating Sexist Line (CBS, April 20, 2012)

Teacher Allegedly Tells 7-year-old She’s ‘Too Sexy’ (ABC, April 20, 2012)

Puberty Before Age 10: A New Normal? (Mercola, April 16, 2012)

Ashley Judd Slaps Media in the Face for Speculation Over Her ‘Puffy’ Appearance (The Daily Beast, April 9, 2012)

Are Kids Too Sexy These Days? (Indiana Daily Student, April 9, 2012)

Unease Over Girls and Early Puberty (On Point with Tom Ashbrook, April 6, 2012)

Gendering Food: Kids Deserve More Than These Sexist Stereotypes (Reel Girl, April 4, 2012)

Puberty Before Age 10—A New Normal (NYT, March 30, 2012)

Meet The Real Life Barbies: Internet Craze sees Teenagers turn themselves into Living Dolls (Daily Mail, March 29, 2012)

 Where Pimps Peddle Their Goods (NYT, March 17, 2012)

How to Help Girls See through the Cover Girl Culture and Reclaim Their Self-Esteem (M. Shriver Blog, March 16, 2012)

Feminist Fairytales Show that Girls Can Take the Lead (Radio Australia, March 8, 2012)

 For Teenage Girls, Facebook Means Always Being Camera Ready (NYT, March 7, 2012)

 French Report Calls for End of Sexualization of Children (Guardian, March 6, 2012)

The Sexualization of Women and Girls (Psychology Today, March 4, 2012)

Sext up KIDS Canadian Documentary (CBC, February 23, 2012)

 Boys vs. Girls: Are Experts Creating a Gender War? (Globe and Mail, February 23, 2012)

Checking Models’ IDs at the Door(NYT, February 8, 2012)

The Sexualization of Children and What Schools Can Do About It (Washington Post, February 7, 2012)

Does Heavy Media Use Make Girls Less Happy? (NYT, January 27, 2012)

Sexually, What’s a Girl to Do? (Los Angeles Times, January 22, 2012)

On Protecting Girlhood (WBUR, January 18, 2012)

Sex Education Gets Directly to Youths, via Text (NYT, December 30, 2011)

Study of Boston Clinic Users Suggests Teen Group Sex Could Be Emerging Public Health Concern (Boston University, December 16, 2011)

INFOGRAPHIC: Beautiful People Really Do Have An Economic Advantage (Business Insider, December 6, 2011)

 The Hidden World of Girls: Part One (VPR, November 24, 2011)

Teen Sex (Student News Episode, November 21, 2011)

 Teaching Good Sex (NYT, November 16, 2011)

 Marc Jacobs Ad Banned for Child Sexualization (Ad Week, November 9, 2011)

Avoiding Sexy Costumes for Kids (CNN, October 28, 2011)

 Single-Sex Schools: Separate but Equal? (NYT, October 17, 2011)

 Little Girls or Little Women: The Disney Princess Effect (Christian Science Monitor, September 24, 2011)

 Sexualizing Kids: No Child Left Behind (Deseret News, September 18, 2011)

The End of Innocence: The Cost of Sexualizing Kids (Deseret News, September 18, 2011)

10-Year-Old Model’s Grown-Up Look: High Fashion or High Risk? (ABC, August 4, 2011)

How to Model Healthy Sexuality for Our Daughters (Ms. Magazine, July 7, 2011)

The Sexualization Debate—Which Side Are You On? (Independent, June 7, 2011)

Letting Children Be Children—Report of an Independent Review of the Commercialization and Sexualization of Childhood (UK, June 2011)

30% of Girls’ Clothing is Sexualized in Major Sales Trend (LiveScience, May 20, 2011)

Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played with Fire (Rolling Stone, April 15, 2011)

Girls Hit Puberty Earlier than Ever, and Doctors Aren’t Sure Why (USA Today, April 14, 2011)

Little Girls Gone Wild: Why Daughters Are Acting Too Sexy, Too Soon (Redbook, March 2011)

Premature Sexualization: Understanding the Risks (National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, March 2011)

Cocktail Parties in Stretch Limos, Catwalk Shows and Fake Tatoos—The Disturbing Sexualization of Little Girls Revealed (Daily Mail, February 25, 2011)

Miss Representation – A Film Review (Feministing, February 14, 2011)

Sexualized Teen Girls: Tinsel Town’s New Target (Parents Television Council, December 2010)

Britney, Beyoncé, and Me: A Primary School Girls’ Role Models and Constructions of the ‘Popular’ Girl (Gender and Education, October 11, 2010)

Pornography 101: Why College Kids Need Porn Literacy Training (Alternet, September 15, 2010)

The Effects of Playing with Thin Dolls on Body Image and Food Intake in Young Girls (Springer, August 22, 2010)

Study: Girls Entering Puberty Earlier (Medscape, August 10, 2010)

The Way We Live Now—Girls Playing At Sexy (NYT, June 11, 2010)

Tories will Clamp Down on ‘Sexualization’ of Children (Daily Mail, February 19, 2010)

Study: Abuse, Provocative Images Increase Internet Risks for Girls (CNN Tech, May 26, 2009)