Sext Up Kids

Sext Up Kids: How Growing Up in a Hyper Sexualized Culture Hurts Our kids

Doc Zone (CBC) 2012

Film Review

The ubiquitous sexualization of children in the mass media is having devastating effects on our adolescents. Sext Up Kids interviews a range of experts, including teachers, psychologists and teen sex bloggers. They all agree that pop culture has become a virtual porn culture, with the increasing prevalence of sexually provocative teen and pre-teen (as young as 9) girls in advertising, music videos and movies.

Teenage girls seem to bear the brunt of the psychological damage. They feel immense pressure to copy the sexualized image of their teen idols, at risk of being unpopular or socially excluded if they don’t. The pressure is aggravated by boys, who are also constantly exposed to the same soft porn and call them sexually abusive names if they don’t measure up.

With boys as young as five accessing hard porn on the Internet, there’s also intense pressure for girls thirteen and up to engage in sexual activity. Because boys base their sexual expectations on male-dominated pornography, intercourse is frequently painful because the girls do it without being aroused or lubricated.

Pressure for girls to engage in oral (fellatio) and anal sex is also intense. Teenage boys expect it because they see it on-line. In one study by an Atlanta psychologist, 22% of teenage girls reported having anal sex in the past sixty days.

Sext Up Kids also covers the controversial topic of sexting, sending sexual explicit texts and selfies. Sexting can have extremely painful consequences for both girls and boys, especially aggravated sexting, a form of bullying in which the naked photos a girls sends her boyfriend are forwarded and go viral.

Apparently girls succumb to their boyfriends’ requests for nude selfies out of fear boys won’t like them if they don’t flaunt and promote themselves. While increasingly boys run the risk of being charged with sex crimes for possessing pornographic photos of girls under eighteen.

The documentary concludes with a plea to parents, urging them to talk to their teenagers about their sexual choices. Experts agree this is the best way support them in resisting pressure to be sexual before they’re emotionally and psychologically ready.

11 thoughts on “Sext Up Kids

  1. All true. What angers me, are the folks who think forcing it on children in school is the answer. Teaching/discussing sexual topics is the responsibility of the parents/guardians (not strangers or corporate instigators). If the parents/guardians can’t or aren’t taking the responsibility seriously then those people should not be having children. Tempting them with more welfare for more babies (babies who often grow up in fatherless homes and stuck in the cycle of poverty and ignorance) only worsens the already monumental problem. People must be responsible for themselves and not the responsibility of others. Children have no choice. Adults do. Adults who make the mistake must be forced to deal with the repercussions of their mistakes. That is how people learn.


    • gb888, Tubularsock agrees that parents/guardians SHOULD be responsible for teaching their children about sex and the issues centered about growing up.

      However a large number don’t. And those that don’t may not have been taught by their parents about the subject. And yet, they do have children.

      Just saying, “. . . those people should not be having children just isn’t going to cut it. The fact is that they do. And those on welfare are not the only group ignorant about sex!

      Those with conservative religious beliefs breed far more ignorance about sex than any poor person on welfare. Virgin birth, indeed!

      And many educated parents are (in this day and age) still embarrassed about discussing sex with their children.

      And that has been the problem that has caused the school system to be responsible to fill in the void. Not the best solution perhaps but better than the porn channel don’t you think?

      Leaving sex education up to the ignorant to take responsibility for their mistakes is not going to change the tide of ignorance.


      • Excellent points, Tube. For awhile there was a trend towards high schools having their own health clinics, though I suspect this has gone backwards with the economic downturn. My first choice would be for the parent to provide sexual education. With my own daughter, I waited till we had to take a trip on the freeway – that way she couldn’t jump out of the car.

        If parents can’t do it, I would far rather teenagers get their information from doctors and nurses than from hard core Internet pornography.


    • Thanks for your comment, gb888. I’m concerned about your comment about forcing kids to partake of sex education in schools. When my daughter and I were teenagers, parental consent was required for students to participate in sex education. Has this changed? If so, I agree this is cause for concern.


  2. I noted this trend decades ago, this social phenomena (international) relates to many elements; such as use of artificial hormones, steroids, chemicals in farm animals (effect: girls early puberty), sexy ads/movies/tv stories redefining fashion, self esteem, and epidemic porn & pop-model icons, early high heels and lipstick…

    The above elements are so pervasive that you can only avoid it by becoming a hermit in the wilderness away from governed regions.
    My sympathies to all parents attempting to cope with protecting their sons and daughters.

    The phenomena is playing out in ways I have no idea where it will lead to as the young generations must deal with it in some innovative way. Perhaps the new normal of 12 year old girl pregnancies will be embraced?


    • You’re probably right, Ron about teenage girls going through puberty earlier. It seems policy makers at all levels have elected to ignore this fact rather than adopting policy to protect them from the dangers of precocious sexual activity.


  3. This is a very important issue that doesn’t get the attention it needs. I’m disturbed by the lack of responsibility many people show in dealing with this uncomfortable situation and disgusted by ads I see using adolescent girls in “revealing” clothing. It makes me cringe. It’s very disturbing that people would stoop so low to make money. It makes me wonder if there’s a twisted underlying motive for this sometimes. (I know I sound like a wacko conspiracy theorist – oh well)


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