As I went into my hotmail account today, the above were on the page of stuff of that Microsoft thought I might want to read about. They were placed in the most obvious and prominent place. The third question in particular jumped out at me. I worry off about my kids and about the prominence of sexualized imagery in media.
But the first thing I noticed is that the wrong question is being asked. In fact, if we assume the author intended all the words he chose, they ought to be arrested.
(I absolutely believe it was just lousy word choice, by the way. I’m not suggesting that the author should in fact be arrested.)
The dictionary at Merriem-Websters website says that the word sexy means the following:
I’ll take a pass on even expressing my thoughts about the damage that second definition does, and instead focus on what I think is wrong with the wording of the question: “Are kids too sexy too soon?”
Both of these definitions focus on the eye of the person observing. They indicate that something arouses interest. I don’t believe the author intended to mean “Do I find kids too sexually appealing when they are young?” but this is in fact what the content of his words indicate. Apparently, what he meant to ask was “Are kids sexualized too soon?”
The article itself wasn’t bad. It quoted lots polls and shared a few anecdotes indicating that parents are worried about disturbing images in the media. But there is an irony in all this.
At least one way too get to this article was by clicking the link from the MSN page that featured two other links. Those links are:
More from TODAY
At the bottom of the whole article, there were these options:
Forget To Take The Pill?
Forget taking the Pill every day. Think once a month birth control.
Teeth Whitening Exposed
The Secrets Dentists don’t want you to know about Teeth Whitening!
Six Sigma Certified?
Villanova Six Sigma Certification. 100% Online Program – Free Info.
LSI – Spine Specialists
Gentle Arthoscopic Solutions For Back & Neck Pain.
AARP Auto Insurance From The
:So, let’s sum up here:
A total of 16 possible links from this story. The first two (the alternatives to clicking the link to the story of childhood sexualization) were focused on romatic relationships. In the list of “More” offered from today, four were about physical beauty and wieght loss. One is apparently about the logistics of threesomes. Another is about the past of somebody for sex-related crimes. And of those four links at the bottom of the page, one is for birth control, and another is about teeth whitening.
In other words, of the sixteen possible links from this story, ten take the reader to stories about sexuality, relationships, or closely related topics such as physical appearance. I don’t believe that most of them would be particularly scintillating. (You have numerous issues if you find teeth whitening arousing.) But they all indicate a preoccupation in society.
My concern is not so much the damage done by kids who click the wrong link. My first concern is the message that we send as a society. Regardless of how mature or developed we are, it’s ludicrious for we adults to be over sexualized while telling our kids not to be.
For me, the real problem is that a well-behaved, safely monitored kid might be surfing the net and simply see that over half the links point toward sites that relate to sexuality, romantic relationships, and physical beauty. Half the damage is in what this expresses about where our priorities are, even if the sites are never visited!