Research documenting the pervasiveness and influence of such products and portrayals is sorely needed.
Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality.
In study after study, findings have indicated that women more often than men are portrayed in a sexual manner (e.g., dressed in revealing clothing, with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness) and are objectified (e.g., used as a decorative object, or as body parts rather than a whole person).
In addition, a narrow (and unrealistic) standard of physical beauty is heavily emphasized.
The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children.
Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized.
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Journalists, child advocacy organizations, parents and psychologists have argued that the sexualization of girls is a broad and increasing problem and is harmful to girls.