What is sexualisation?


The American Psychological Association defines sexualisation in this way:

There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality. Sexualization occurs when

1)    a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;

2)    a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;

3)    a person is sexually objectified — that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the     capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or

4)    sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.

All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualization. The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children. Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized. But when children are imbued with adult sexuality, it is often imposed upon them rather than chosen by them. Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality.

Read the entire report here.

Opposing sexualisation is not the same as opposing sex or sexuality. We are for a culture in which people can develop and express healthy sexuality in their own time. To achieve this we must resist a culture that tells people their sexual value is all they are.

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