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So Sexy so Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kidsby Ph.D. Diane E. Levin
Synopses & Reviews
Thong panties, padded bras, and risqué Halloween costumes for young girls. T-shirts that boast “Chick Magnet” for toddler boys. Sexy content on almost every television channel, as well as in books, movies, video games, and even cartoons. Hot young female pop stars wearing provocative clothing and dancing suggestively while singing songs with sexual and sometimes violent lyrics. These products are marketed aggressively to our children; these stars are held up for our young daughters to emulate–and for our sons to see as objects of desire.
Popular culture and technology inundate our children with an onslaught of mixed messages at earlier ages than ever before. Corporations capitalize on this disturbing trend, and without the emotional sophistication to understand what they are doing and seeing, kids are getting into increasing trouble emotionally and socially; some may even to engage in precocious sexual behavior. Parents are left shaking their heads, wondering: How did this happen? What can we do?
So Sexy So Soon is an invaluable and practical guide for parents who are fed up, confused, and even scared by what their kids–or their kids’ friends–do and say. Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., and Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., internationally recognized experts in early childhood development and the impact of the media on children and teens, understand that saying no to commercial culture–TV, movies, toys, Internet access, and video games–isn’t a realistic or viable option for most families. Instead, they offer parents essential, age-appropriate strategies to counter the assault. For instance:
• Help your children expand their imaginations by suggesting new ways for them to play with toys–for example, instead of “playing house” with dolls, they might send their toys on a backyard archeological adventure.
• Counteract the narrow gender stereotypes in today’s media: ask your son to help you cook; get your daughter outside to play ball.
• Share your values and concerns with other adults–relatives, parents of your children’s friends–and agree on how you’ll deal with TV and other media when your children are at one another’s houses.
Filled with savvy suggestions, helpful sample dialogues, and poignant true stories from families dealing with these issues, So Sexy So Soon provides parents with the information, skills, and confidence they need to discuss sensitive topics openly and effectively so their kids can just be kids.
Presents a parent's guide to raising children with a healthy understanding of and attitude toward sex and sexuality in a culture that provides youngsters with a skewed sense of body image, sex, role models, and the makeup of healthy intimate relationships, offering an effective antidote to the media's assault on childhood. 40,000 first printing.
Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., (right) is a professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston, where she has been involved in training early childhood professionals for more than twenty-five years. An internationally recognized expert who helps professionals a
About the Author
Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., (right) is a professor of education at Wheelock College in Boston, where she has been involved in training early childhood professionals for more than twenty-five years. An internationally recognized expert who helps professionals and parents deal with the effects of violence, media, and commercial culture on children, Levin is a senior adviser to the PBS parents’ website for girls, the co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, and the author or co-author of seven other books, including Remote Control Childhood? and The War Play Dilemma. She is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. The New York Times Magazine named her one of the three most popular speakers on college campuses. Her award-winning films include the Killing Us Softly series, Slim Hopes, Calling the Shots, and Spin the Bottle. The author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel, she is a frequent guest on radio and television programs such as Today and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She has testified for the U.S. Congress and been an adviser to two surgeons general. A Senior Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women, she lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Changing times, changing needs, changing responses — Never too young to be sexy : living with children in today's sexualized world — From Barbie to Bratz and beyond : sexy sells — Sexual development derailed : the toll on children — The toll on parents, families, and schools — Helping children through the minefields : what parents, families and schools can do — Working it out together : the power of connecting deeply with children — The sexualized child enters adolescence : the floodgates open — Helping teenagers through the minefields — Creating a new cultural environment.
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