Over the past decade video clips and songs have become more explicit. Images and lyrics are now overtly sexual rather than implied. The worst offenders in the music world,  and those who seem to influence young people the most, are Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Snoop Dogg, Pussycat Dolls and Usher.

The effects of this are beginning to be seen in the behaviour of many children who emulate their favour pop stars without realising the full implication of their actions.

Increasingly young people are engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour; often copied from celebrity performances they have seen on TV and the internet. This is taking many forms from the way they dress to more serious incidents of problematic and uninvited sexual behaviour towards other children.

The South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Abuse sees about 300 children under the age of 10 each year displaying sexualised behaviour such as touching other children inappropriately.

Kids Free 2B Kids director Julie Gale and Generation Next speaker said it was time the community took a stand against child sexualisation. “No one over the age of 25 experienced the intensity of exposure to adult sexualised imagery bombarding kids today,” she said.

“We are an extremely irresponsible adult community and by staying silent we are complicit in the problem continuing.”

Dr Tucci of The Australian Childhood Foundation said 10 years ago, the program for seven to 15-year-olds would only receive 10 referrals a year. Now it gets more than 150. He was not talking about playing “doctors and nurses” but oral sex and sex simulation.

Although the majority of these children had been subjected to some kind of abuse themselves, an estimated 30% of cases were due to the onslaught of sexual images children are now exposed to.

Dr Tucci said “There is an abundance of sexual imagery out there impacting children’s lives — music clips, the internet, advertising. For a young person that’s hard to make sense of, to understand. Some act it out as a way of trying to understand it.”

Carolyn worth from the Centre Against Sexual Abuse (CASA) Forum in Victoria said some children were copying what they saw on television and the internet.

She said “Children have always been involved in exploratory play, and some people get very sensitive about that, but children these days potentially have access to lots of hardcore porn that they didn’t have before.”

Is your child growing up too quickly?

  • Does your child want to dress in clothing for older children?
  • Do they want to watch TV shows outside their classification?
  • Are the books they are reading age-appropriate?
  • Can you remember the last time you told them they are not old enough to know about a certain topic?
  • Are the computer games they play and internet sites they visit age-appropriate?
  • Do they hang out with much older kids who are a bad influence?

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha
Source: The Sun Herald