Young Girls Aspire to Be Sexy, Says New Study

Is your little girl growing up too fast?Many young girls at the tender age of six are already beginning to think of sexiness and how it applies to them. These little girls may still be struggling with reading, writing, tantrums and all things childlike. But, unfortunately, "sexy" is also a concept that is already on their minds. Also Read: 3 Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Sex

According to a study by psychologists Christy Starr and Gail Ferguson at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, which was published in the journal Sex Roles, young girls value the concept of "sexiness." Specifically, 60 girls were each shown two dolls - one of which was dressed in sexy clothing while the other doll was dressed in a loose yet trendy outfit.

The girls were then asked to select the doll that they wanted to look like, the doll that they already looked like, the doll that they wanted to play with and the doll that looked like she would be popular in school. A significant majority of the girls chose the sexier-clad doll as the one that they aspired to look like, and associated as the sexier doll with greater popularity. Yikes! Also Read: 28 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Love Their Bodies

Christy Starr, the lead researcher, suggested that even at this young age, girls equate popularity with sexiness. What a shame! Perhaps they are influenced by older role models, older siblings, and maybe even some of the more popular dolls. But even in this concerning study, we find a kernel of hope.

Mothers in this study who reported that they used TV and movies as teaching vehicles to teach their little girls about appropriate behavior and unrealistic expectations were less likely to have daughters who identified with the sexy doll. Kudos to those mothers. Yes, perhaps maternal influence is protective against media influence. We can only hope.

Written by Barbara Greenberg for

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