Newsweek has a very good article on what they call the "pornification" of an entire generation of youth:
In a market that sells high heels for babies and thongs for tweens, it doesn't take a genius to see that sex, if not porn, has invaded our lives. Whether we welcome it or not, television brings it into our living rooms and the Web brings it into our bedrooms. According to a 2007 study from the University of Alberta, as many as 90 percent of boys and 70 percent of girls aged 13 to 14 have accessed sexually explicit content at least once.
But it isn't just sex that Scott is worried about. He's more interested in how we, as a culture, often mimic the most raunchy, degrading parts of it—many of which, he says, come directly from pornography. In "The Porning of America" (Beacon), which he has written with colleague Carmine Sarracino, a professor of American literature, the duo argue that, through Bratz dolls and beyond, the influence of porn on mainstream culture is affecting our self perceptions and behavior—in everything from fashion to body image to how we conceptualize our sexuality.
The article continues:
The prevalence or porn leaves today's children with a lot of conflicting ideas and misconceptions, says Lyn Mikel Brown, the coauthor of "Packaging Girlhood," about marketers' influence on teen girls. "All this sex gives a misinformed notion of what it means to be grown-up." Studies show that kids who consume this kind of sex in the media inherit more traditional views of gender—boys as dominant, girls as submissive, in the bedroom and beyond. (In a survey of 244 high-school students earlier this year, researchers at the University of Michigan found that those who frequently viewed talk shows and prime-time programs with sexualized content endorsed sexual stereotypes more strongly.) Kids are less likely to know when and how to express themselves sexually—or what behavior crosses the border into sexual harassment. As part of their research, the authors of "Porning" talked to middle-school teachers who told stories of girls sending half-nude pictures to classmates they'd barely met, then strutting around in classrooms in provocative clothing to reveal what's underneath.
The authors of "So Sexy So Soon" (Ballantine), which came out last month, believe that part of the problem for children is that they lack the emotional sophistication to understand the images they see. Last year, the American Psychological Association put out a compelling report that described the sexualization of young girls: a process that entails being stripped of all value except the sexual use to which they might be put. Once they subscribe to that belief, say some psychologists, those girls begin to self-objectify—with consequences ranging from cognitive problems to depression and eating disorders. "It's not as if we get our ideas straight from porn about what a kiss should be or what sex should be," says Sharon Lamb, a psychologist at Saint Michael's College in Burlington, Vt., and a coauthor of the APA report. "But you do see imitation of sex that was once found only in porn. It's a kind of education to kids about what sex is like before they have a real education of it."
This is one of the reasons that we were so appalled by Nationwide Children's Hospital decision to rename their emergency room The Abercrombie & Fitch ER. Abercrombie has been, and remains, a primary objectifier of children.
The hospital, in partnering with one of the worst corporate offenders, is harming the very people they should be protecting.