The ‘prostitots’ are OK

Premature sexualization is putting girls at risk, warns the American Psychological Association. ‘Tweens are turning into thong-wearing tarts.

But the report is a “stat-free zone,” responds Kerry Howley in Reason. The prostitots seem to be turning out OK.

Kids ape their older peers, and they’ve never had more access to images of underdressed celebutants. A sixth-grader in a short skirt could well be a sign of a sexually dysfunctional society, a pie-eyed Paris in the making. Or she could simply suggest that 11-year-olds pick an outfit the same way they long have, hoping to find acceptance within a social group and signal mastery over a shared culture.

The report warns of “a litany of alarming pathologies that sexualization might conceivably provoke, from eating disorders to depression to low self esteem to addiction.” But there’s little evidence to back up these fears. The teen pregnancy rate is at the lowest level in 30 years; teen abortion rates fell 50 percent from 1998 to 2002.

Women are 56 percent of college enrollees. . . . And while those celebrities the girls are slavishly aping cycle in and out of rehab, teen drug and alcohol use are both down.

. . . All indicators of sexual violence are down, and the decrease is most dramatic among younger women. In the past 12 years, according to the survey, sexual victimization rates have fallen 78 percent.

Of course, it’s possible the “prostitots” will grow up to be Paris Hilton clones, but so far the trends are looking good.

About Joanne


  1. My students told me about dresses made for six and seven year olds that have falsies in them. I am completely grossed out by this.

    I will tell you that, as a mother, it takes me ten times as long to shop for my kids because I refuse to buy anything that exposes midriffs or underwear, comes pre-ripped, or has written comments like “Juicy” across the posterior. And I HATE shopping for anything but books in the first place. So once I find some jeans that aren’t super low waisted and fit somewhat correctly, I buy several pairs in two sizes, since who knows how long it will take for me to find their like again?

  2. My main fault with the APA report is that it did not recognize its own culpability in this trend by normalizing and encouraging sexual exploration and activity among teenagers. Pre-teens copy the teenagers, then kids copy the pre-teens and so forth.

    Of course, teens today grew up hearing about oral sex on the nightly news, and the absurd assertion that it isn’t really sex. The ignorance about sexually transmitted diseases is huge; they seem to think a condom can solve all problems and that oral sex doesn’t present any real risks for sexually transmitted diseases. (I realize this is a vast generalization and does not apply to every single teenager or even all groups of teenagers.)

    A friend who is a principal of an elementary school had to call in the parents of 9 or 10 fifth grade students who were experimenting with a variety of sexual activities in the 5th grade bathrooms (much more than “innocent” curiousity, less than intercourse). That was disturbing.

    And just because a girl isn’t horribly dysfunctional in every aspect of her life doesn’t mean she’s healthy. One reason the pregancy rate may be down is that some teenagers are practicing oral and even anal sex and then patting themselves on the back for “waiting”. Doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful. Read the book by the clinical psychologist at UCLA (I think, it was authored by “Anonymous” but she has since revealed herself). Great about how the hookup culture is hurting girls and the liberal feminists don’t want to admit it.