Hypersexualization of young girls: What can we do about it?

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For those who want to create a healthier societal view of sexuality – and not leave girls’ sex education in the hands of media and advertizing – there are a growing number of resources we can turn to.

The following list includes organizations working for change, workshops for girls empowerment as well as stories where girls themselves have taken action to change how the media portray them.

Seventeen Magazine Pledges to Use Only ‘Real Girls' and 'Models Who are Healthy' in Pictures in Bid to Help With Readers' Self-Esteem
Lindsay Goldwert, New York Daily News, July 5, 2012
Describes the successful campaign led by some teenaged girls in the U.S. to convince Seventeen Magazine to change how it portrays girls.

Protecting Girls: APA Continues to Lead Advocacy Efforts against Sexualization
Krysta Jones and Corine Bell, American Psychological Association, Monitor on Psychology, July/August 2011, Vol. 42, No. 7
Describes efforts in the U.S. to reduce the hypersexualization of girls, since the release of the Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls

YWCA Taking Sexy Back: A Forum for Advocacy against Sexualization
YWCA Metro Vancouver
A YWCA Facebook forum for advocacy against the hypersexualization of young girls and women. A space to share information, make connections and start the conversation to end hypersexualization.

Packaging Girlhood: 10 Tips for Girls
Hardy Girls, Healthy Women
A tip sheet for girls on how to resist the disempowering messages that advertisers and marketers are giving them. 

Preventing the Sexualization of Childhood: What Adults Can Do
Hardy Girls, Healthy Women
A tip sheet for parents, professionals and other adults working with children on how to prevent the negative effects of sexualization on girls.

Tracing Real Body Models 
Avolunteer initiative producing new fashion design templates for illustrators and clothing designers. The model templates to trace are available free on their website and offer a wide range of female silhouettes to draw from, inspired by photographs of real people and created by tracing their actual proportions.

iGirl Empowerment Workshops
A two- or three-day workshop to prepare 9-12 year old girls for dealing with and understanding the media they will encounter and to learn how to make decisions to navigate safely through that media. Tackles topics such as puberty, what makes a healthy body image, and how to be assertive.

Spark Movement: Sexualization Protest. Action. Resist. Knowledge.
An organization that arose as a response to The Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls and its call for grassroots mobilizing around the danger that sexualization poses to girls and young women.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
Seeks to raise public awareness about the harms of advertising to children, to change egregious marketing practices, and to stigmatize companies that target children.

Promotes prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. Seeks to increase public awareness about the negative effects of early sexualization, and to equip parents and other concerned adults with the training and tools needed for early intervention and prevention strategies.

Stop Porn Culture
An action-oriented, feminist organization concerned with educating the public on the issue of pornography, its influence on pop culture, and its effects on women, children and men. 

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Hypersexualization of young girls: Why should we care?