Sext Up Kids: How Growing Up in a Hyper Sexualized Culture Hurts Our kids
Doc Zone (CBC) 2012
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.