Have you heard of the boiling frog phenomena? If a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out. If it is placed in cold water which is gradually heated to boiling, it will sit there and be boiled alive. This can be an analogy for the drip drip effect we speak of with children and sexualisation. Imagine the frog, the first hot drip of water does not affect, the second doesn’t either but when the thousandth drip goes in to the pond we say goodbye to frog. The same thing is happening with sexual images.
Let us consider some examples. Is the cover of Nuts really that bad with massive breasts covered by tiny crosses? Maybe, maybe not. Is the Sport that bad with its stock picture of a woman bending over, reminiscent of a cows backside? Mmm… it is bad but hey its not exactly going to corrupt a child on its own. Now what about children reading the word bastard or bitch on the front of a newspaper. Oh heck they hear these things walking down the street, won’t do any harm. How about a child who has seen these three examples every day of his life from the day he could sit up?
We are told this week that a video in the window of lingerie store, Boux Avenue showing a woman advertising a bra with a completely naked bum is within the boundaries of decency. The model is wearing a thong which can hardly be seen and there is a focus on her bottom in a sexual way. Now, let us consider is this within the boundaries of decency when we add the other regular images a child sees? Taken alone, if sex didn’t sell and sexualisation didn’t exist, then we may be able to agree and say, ‘yeah, you are selling bras and knickers for heaven’s sake, you go for it’. Except Boux Avenue are not just selling bra’s and knickers like BHS do are they? They are selling sex and they know it. There is nothing wrong with sex and sexy knickers but do children need to come along for the ride with this? Some may say that children won’t even notice. Child Eyes thinks that these people underestimate children, they notice everything and those things they do not notice, consciously slip in through the back way. Drip drip.
Children are sitting in the pond feeling the gradual heat of sexualisation.
When a child reaches around eight, possibly younger, they can see the top shelf. Many independent stores have two shelves of porn.
Add it up, headlines, lad mags, women’s backside’s, maybe a glimpse of page three on the bus, Boux Avenue while buying school shoes. Drip drip.
So is it any surprise that the average age of a child seeing porn is just ten years old?
Child Eyes is working very hard to help parents to protect children in a society that says it is o.k. to sell sex. The overwhelming majority of images are women. We have been looking for examples of male objectification but could only find one example, a gay mag in WHSmith. Men’s health usually features a topless male but the purpose is to show how strong he is and the target audience is men, so not sexual. Also, men can walk freely down the street with no top on should they wish. This compares to the hundreds of sexual images of women. Except these are not women. They are female, white, skinny, massive boobs, tanned, dyed hair, make-up, airbrushed etc etc. Drip drip.
When a child sees porn, the type of free porn that is available is horrifically degrading to women – the type of porn available portrays women only as sex toys to be used and abused in any way a man wishes to use her. There is very little porn available depicting love, kissing, even any form of pleasure for the woman, it is simply not a two way street. This is where the water starts to boil. Boys start to form lifelong feelings towards sex, girls begin to feel they have to conform to the ideal. Boys begin to act as ‘lads’ and conform to the ideal of treating a woman as a sex toy. After all, he has been fed this ideal since he was a toddler and he thinks that is what women are made for. Girls become obsessed with making themselves look like the packaged up ideal and being more sexy. After all she has been fed this ideal since she was a toddler and she thinks that is what she is made for.
Many parents are trying to counteract this effect and protect children. These responsible parents are facing an uphill struggle.
How many of our children are heading for boiling point? Will love and relationships even exist in their future?
Do they have the ability to jump out of the water or will they sit there until they are boiled?