Yesterday, Moody Radio’s Chris Fabry hosted a conversation with Moody Bible Institute professor Elizabeth Smith discussing the poison of sexualization of children and what we can do about it. i missed most of it but found out that Prof. Smith would be leading a webinar today expounding on the topic. There was lots of practical wisdom and some shocking statics, but still important data. one huge statement that still is rocking my understanding…is the reality…
that once a child “knows” about things sexual there is never again a time of not knowing.
that’s not a problem unless the child is at an age that they can’t process what it all means. and since the “knowing” thing is being learned at younger ages we need to be concerned. i have conversations weekly with students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade who are “dating”…and who as they date are “making out” and taking a journey down a road that most likely end in some kind of “wreck”.
Particularly troubling is the impact of the sexualization of young girls. some of the impact that Smith shared is sobering…
- Cognitive and emotional consequences -Studies have found that thinking about the body and comparing it to sexualized cultural ideals may disrupt a girl’s mental concentration, and a girl’s sexualization or objectification may undermine her confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems, such as shame and anxiety.
- Mental and physical health- Research has linked sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems diagnosed in girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood.
- Sexual development – Research suggests that the sexualization of girls has negative consequences on girls’ ability to develop a healthy sexual self-image
There are a couple more webinars in the coming months that will be definitely worth the investment of time. Learn more about the webinars here.