Monday, April 1st, 2013
A nationwide “silent and peaceful” protest aimed at the lingerie store Victoria’s Secret is being organized for April 6 by a parenting organization called The Mommy Lobby, in an attempt to convince the company to stop an ad campaign that features teen girls in sexually suggestive settings. The “Bright Young Things” ads advertise the company’s PINK line, which the company says is aimed at young women between ages 18 and 22. More from Fox News:
The marketing campaign, for Victoria’s Secret’s PINK line, first caught the attention of The Mommy Lobby’s CEO Cindy Chafin about a month ago. Since then, her group has been speaking out against the “bright young things” ads, which show younger girls in skimpy underwear with slogans like “Call Me” and “Feeling Lucky?”
The lacy thongs and bikini underwear, one style is called “The Date Panty,” are seemingly aimed at a younger buyer, Chafin said, and the members of The Mommy Lobby felt action needed to be taken.
“Victoria’s Secret, they are a corporation. They are free to run their product. We totally get that, but I think there comes a point where there are boundaries,” she told FOX 411. “Our daughters are not sex objects. We really want them to be innocent and young as long as possible…and [Victoria’s Secret is] not helping that.”
Amid the controversy, Victoria’s Secret posted on their Facebook page that the PINK line is aimed at 18 to 22 year olds.
“In response to questions we recently received, Victoria’s Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women,” the message read.
But at a recent conference Business Insider reported the company’s CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said, “When somebody’s 15 or 16-years-old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at PINK.”
Victoria’s Secret also recently teamed up with tween idol Justin Bieber for several of their projects. His voice provides the music for a recent video for the 2013 Swim line, and he performed—along with Rihanna—at this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Image via The Mommy Lobby
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Thursday, October 18th, 2012
The vaccine against human papillomavirus, which is the sexually transmitted virus that raises the risk of cervical and other cancers, has been a source of controversy among some parents who worry that vaccinating young girls and boys will inadvertently teach them that sex is permissible and safe. But a new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics has found that having the vaccine does not alter sexual behavior at all. The New York Times reports:
Looking at a sample of nearly 1,400 girls, the researchers found no evidence that those who were vaccinated beginning around age 11 went on to engage in more sexual activity than girls who were not vaccinated.
“We’re hopeful that once physicians see this, it will give them evidence that they can give to parents,” said Robert A. Bednarczyk, the lead author of the report and a clinical investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Southeast, in Atlanta. “Hopefully when parents see this, it’ll be reassuring to them and we can start to overcome this barrier.”
HPV, the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States, can cause cancers of the cervix, anus and parts of the throat. Federal health officials began recommending in 2006 that girls be vaccinated as early as age 11 and last year made a similar recommendation for preadolescent boys. The idea is to immunize boys and girls before they become sexually active to maximize the vaccine’s protective effects.
Image: Tween girl and boy, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
The new season of the ABC program “Dancing with the Stars” features Chaz Bono, the child of Sonny Bono and Cher who recently underwent surgery to change sexes. CNN.com has published a report on the children–1 in 30,000 or 1 in 1,000, depending on which study you read–who are, from very young ages, transgender. These kids can face painful childhood experiences that stem from their feelings that they were born with the wrong sexual anatomy. From CNN:
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Transgender children experience a disconnect between their sex, which is anatomy, and their gender, which includes behaviors, roles and activities. In Thomas’ case, he has a male body, but he prefers female things likes skirts and dolls, rather than pants and trucks.
Gender identity often gets confused with sexual orientation. The difference is “gender identity is who you are and sexual orientation is who you want to have sex with,” said Dr. Johanna Olson, professor of clinical pediatrics at University of Southern California, who treats transgender children….
…When a child starts identifying with the opposite gender, there is no way to determine whether it’s temporary or likely to become permanent.
“It’s important to acknowledge the signs of gender dysphoria, especially for children,” said Eli Coleman, who chaired a committee to update treatment guidelines for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, an international medical group meeting this week in Atlanta, Georgia. “By not addressing it, it could be really more damaging for the child than not.”
“It’s a very difficult area and there are a lot of children who have gender nonconformity. They will simply grow out of that. Many of them later on identify as gay or lesbian, rather than transgender.”
The American Psychological Association warns that “It is not helpful to force the child to act in a more gender-conforming way.” When they’re forced to conform, some children spiral into depression, behavioral problems and even suicidal thoughts.
Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
The Spanish company Berjuan, which makes a baby doll that children can pretend to breastfeed, will be selling their product in the US beginning at the end of July, news sources are reporting.
ABC News reports, “The doll, which comes with a special halter top with two flowers positioned where nipples would be, makes suckling sounds when its mouth is brought close to sensors embedded in the flowers.”
The product is controversial in some circles. From ABC News:
“I heard people talking about it but, honestly, I thought it was a joke,” said Ilina Ewen, a writer for Deep South Moms and her own blog Dirt and Noise.
“There are just things that I think kids are too little to understand,” she said. “Let kids use their imagination and play with a doll and not deal with what it can do… There’s no need to turn it into something that’s anatomically correct. Not at this age.”
Berjuan defends its product by arguing that it allows children to explore and imitate a natural part of their parents’ connection with them:
“Breast-feeding is completely natural,” Cesar Bernabeu, director of sales and marketing for Berjuan, wrote in an e-mail to ABCNews.com.
Bernabeu said the toy allows children to imitate their moms — a natural part of growing up.
“We realized that the reaction was so positive with the girls when they were imitating their moms and saw that they react to the doll like it was a little sister,” read Bernabeu’s remarks, translated from Spanish. “Their faces of happiness said it all.”
Child development experts are torn on the toy’s value:
“My take is that anything which reminds young girls that their bodies are something other, and more, than sex objects, is a very good thing,” said Dr. Ronald Cohen, medical director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank in San Jose, Calif.
“On the other hand, encouraging young girls to want to have babies at a very young age may not be so great,” said Cohen, who is also the director of the intermediate intensive care nursery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University.
(image via: http://www.lilsugar.com/)
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