By criticising sexualisation aren’t you shaming girls?

By criticising sexualisation aren’t you shaming girls?


A common refrain is that to acknowledge sexualised clothing, toys and products marketed to girls is to ‘shame’ them for their ‘choices’. The sexualisation of girls has very little to do with girls' choices, and much more to do with companies, advertisers and marketers - whose financial interests are at stake. 

Calling out retailers that manufacture and sell padded push-up bras and g-strings for pre-pubescent girls, clothing and underwear with sexualised and suggestive slogans and merchandise embedded with the logo of global pornography brand Playboy is not shaming girls. It is holding them accountable.

Another accusation from sexualisation deniers is that accurately labelling children’s clothing as sexualised is tantamount to arguing children are inviting sexual attention or even sexual assaults from grown men. We in no way suggest girls or victims are responsible for crimes against them. Research shows the sexualisation of children may actually play a role in ‘grooming’ them for abuse.

Dr Emma Rush, co-author of Corporate Paedophilia report writes: “Premature sexualisation also erases the line between who is and is not sexually mature, and as such, may increase the risk of child sexual abuse by undermining the important social norm that children are sexually unavailable.”


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