Comments about ‘Sexualizing kids: No child left behind — and fighting back’

Return to article »

Parents, organizations decide to fight back

Published: Sunday, Sept. 18 2011 9:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended

I highly recommend that every older teen, and parents of teens, should read a compelling book on this subject: A Return to Modesty, by Wendy Shalit.

A separate point, which is not directly related to that book, is how ironic it is that all the objectification/sexualization of women that is being done in the name of "freedom of expression" is actually undoing all the progress that has been made on granting equal rights and freedom for women.

Mom of Six
Northern Utah, UT

We regulate cigarettes and alcohol in this country especially when it comes to those who aren't of age. Why can't we regulate sexual ads and porn the same way? Although one harms the physical body, the other harms the psyche. Both are damaging.

Oahu, HI

Sexualizing or Sexualization means that kids know and act on what they think know.

In this case they know or think thay know about sex. In short they know what we don't want them to know. I Internet displaces urban myth.

I would keep my child out of the B & G Club for that reason. My Son went twice got bored and spent more time at home. His sister was never interested. I paid hoping he would waste my money and he did.

At 14 I bought him a Bus Pass and a Cell and said bye. he still stayed mostly home. He joined a good High School Drama Club. I sent him to keep an eye on his sister after a wwhile she quit but he stayed for 4 years.

Teenagers have a lot of free will and some will do things others won't. Up bringing and Religion have little to do with that. Teaching Self Respect does have a lot to do with it. Kids want what they consider to be fun.

Fun is different to almost everyone. Still good kids regardless, situation is bad kids are not bad till way latter on.

Enough is enough!
Saint George, UT

Sorry, quite = quit.

Sa, ca

Eight pages and not a single mention of preparing oneself to be a wife and mother. Being a mother is the most important thing a woman will do in her lifetime. Trying to foster self-esteem and a wholesome image of oneself is just empty rhetoric without reference to motherhood.

Underlying the sexualization of children is the disengagement of sex from reproduction. Parents, schools, and public health officials do not talk about motherhood - the natural consequence of sexual intercourse - but instead concentrate their efforts on making sure that their girls are "safe" sex partners. Pregnancy is treated like a venereal disease, not a woman's fulfillment. If we devalue childbearing and motherhood we devalue our girls and you can't fight that by monitoring TV.

L Kaiser

Mom of six, Im not sure about Utah, but in WA it is regulated like tobacco and alcohol. Pornographic magazines not only require 18 year age ID but also must have the front covered on display or out of site at conveneinces stores so patrons who do not want to see the images are not forced too. Stores that are for primarily explicit materials will instantly ID anyone who walks in the door, sleazy "gentlemens clubs" also ID everyone. I dont think its lack of regulation, its the vast difference in opinion as to what constitutes objectionable materials. The real question is where the line is between objectionable material and unobjectionable is, for some its showing a midriff, above the knees shorts/skirts or tank tops, others its nothing being worn at all. Society as a whole seems to think its the latter, as thats what IS regulated. Check it out, I think you'll find Utah regulates pornography quite well.

Taylorsville, UT

Being a man and a father of a daughter this subject has always been a pet peeve of mine and why government allows children to be exploited by advertisers to sell products and wrongful self esteem to girls and boys. I'm glad this is being recognized as a serious problem and this mother is taking action.

And I think she needs to target mothers that allows their children to act, behave, and dress like sex objects. I know there is inherent genetic processes developing in children for the sole purpose of attracting mates but children must be trained to repress these emotions until they can better understand the birds and the bees and life.

Even some so galled G rated family programing on television is misleading and exploiting children. I have seen many mothers who approve of these young girls and training them to use sexuality to exploit themselves for wrongful reasons.

The way some young girls dress and behave you can't tell a 20 year old from a 12 year old. If men ever speak up on this subject they are given little credation or recognition in helping to solve this exploiting of children.

Layton, UT

I thought this was a decent article about the challenges parents face raising kids in this time. The aspect about unintended consequences of deregulating toy companies advertising was very interesting and how that leads to bullying. It's interesting also to note that many schools now train children about bullying--something that didn't happen when I was in school.

Society needs women to take a lead role in how they want to be defined. So many women defer to what men want women to be, but men are pretty much conditioned to think of women in the simplest ways possible. Even without the media, young men need special training to learn simple matters like how if you like a girl you don't insult her, or pull her pigtails... Women (and men who are willing to model good behaviors) need to step up and face these negative stereotypes.

Finally young girls receive a lot of negative messages about their intelligence and need strong counter examples to the society's tendency to making girls nothing but hysterical, screaming fans of Justin Beiber. Consider if they were encouraged to be that excited about doing mathematics?


As a parent of two son's, one fresh out of college and one soon to be graduating from high school I have applied a sure fire method for keeping my boys from offensive influences....be a parent.
The last thing we need is another law, more government censorship (which will end up costing taxpayers) thrown upon us. Try being a responsible parent instead, pay attention to what your children read, listen to, watch on TV/computer and do not buy them the latest fad clothing just because some singer/personality wears it. I never let my boys wear the popular baggy, oversized, low hung pants, dye their hair, get piercings, watch offensive things on TV or online. I instead read to them, engaged in fun outdoor activities and encouraged them to pursue healthy endeavors. My oldest son works in the computer industry and my youngest just completed his first triathlon.
If we as consumers and parents do not allow our children to watch, buy, use products, services, encourage certain types of marketing that are bad for our kids, they will go away as their market share dies. Be a parent, don't expect the government to do it for you.


Although I see the wrong in some things, I really feel that some of this stuff is way overblown.

As DaveRL said,

1. Be a parent

And as I say,

2. Let your kids engage their free will (or agency for you Mormons)

That's it. Do your fair job, they're going to do theirs. Don't scold them and destroy them over not following your rules to the T. I'd rather have a daughter dressing that way and still coming home every night than running away out of resentment. Let your kids be themselves ... just be a parent and guide them in the right direction. Sometimes .. you're not right! Be ready for that!

Sugar City, ID

"Momofsix" Perhaps a better way to keep filth out of the hands of children is not state "regulation" but through organized citizen's bocotts of businesses that sell this smut (even if they do cover the covers). If a business is loosing customers because of thier irresponsible business practices, they just miight stop selling this obscene filth. I know I'd join a boycott. Also, I'd refuse to purchase products of companies that sponsor filthy TV shows if I knew what these businesses were. Is there some kind of list of these businesses? Over the last 30+ years, the grocery store I shop at the most doesn't sell that stuff. They don't even sell beer. And they close on Sunday. That's being a responsible part of the community.

Salt Lake City, UT

Great article. Great points.

Utah leads the world in plastic surgery. Everyone go look in the mirror. Start liking what you see! Help your kids like what they see in the mirror as well. Stop trying to "one up" everyone else because you are so insecure.

Good job Reagan Advertising for helping get the word out. Keep it up. We all need to do what we can to stop supporting companies who are promoting promiscuity.

Cunning marketing is helping to lower the standards even more. Stop listening to their lies.

The power is within you.

Medical Lake, Washington

I have two young daughters - 7 and 4. I want them to grow up knowing that they are beautiful, not because they dress for sex, but because I tell them they are every day - and how they are so talented and so helpful, so wonderful. What was said earlier is true, more laws do little to help. Parents need to be parents and not "buds". They need to guide their children, not control them. They need to demonstrate through their own actions that life is simply about getting paid or getting laid (forgive my language). But children need to know that they are children of a loving heavenly father and that alone makes them of great worth, which should only be magnified by the love we give them. A child should never have to debase themselves to get attention or to feel wanted or appreciated.


Thank you to Collins for writing about this incredibly important subject! I am Lexie Kite, quoted in the story alongside my sister, Lindsay. There are so many ways to fight back against these harmful, so normalized ideals, and this is not a hopeless fight. For more ways to get on board right here in Utah or across the world, our Beauty Redefined website linked in Part 1 of this piece is a great start. Our Beauty Redefined billboard campaign began in Northern Utah but is going much further and there are so many more ways to take back beauty and healthy sexuality for females everywhere under our "How Girls and Women Can Take Back Beauty" and "How Boys and Men Can Help Take Back Beauty" posts!


LValfre, Freewill requires an understanding of responsibility and consequences. Two things children have yet to learn how to handle. Letting them run free is the worst idea without giving them the guidelines and guardrails that will help them make healthy choices.


"There are so many ways to fight back against these harmful, so normalized ideals"

Ummm ... native's have walked around 'mostly naked' for thousands of years. Are you saying they're being harmful to themselves and their society? Let's be real here .... these modest ways are YOUR beliefs. They're not harming anybody by showing a little more. Summers are hot! So what if someone wears a 2 piece bathing suit. You're blowing things WAY out of proportion.

Young ones being pressed sexually? Not for it. Not for them being one of many wives at 14 years of age either! But deciding for them what is and isn't appropriate is absurd. You think God's looking down on Native Americans or Africans for not covering their shoulders? Please. Just some more man-made nonsense.


It is nice to see that people fear for their children and want to maintain their innocence. My concern is that when people like Muslims cover their hair in a sign of modesty they are labeled extremists, or why when a country like france bans conservative measures it is championed as "saving" women.

man of few words
Salt Lake City, UT


I think you misunderstood what LValfre was trying to express (in an admittedly condescending way). Simply put, "teach correct principles and let them govern themselves."

Obviously, as parents, we need to take into account not only the age, but also the maturity of each child when deciding how much responsibility they are ready for. This doesn't mean that we control our children, but rather that we guide and parent them.

I do think, however, that consumers have more power than they realize. My money will not support a company (such as A &C) which is clearly using exploitative images in their advertising.



"LValfre, Freewill requires an understanding of responsibility and consequences. Two things children have yet to learn how to handle. Letting them run free is the worst idea without giving them the guidelines and guardrails that will help them make healthy choices."

I agree with you Hawkyo. They need to be guided along the right path. What I disagree with is what is that path. There are MANY paths to raising your children. Modesty, sometimes to a ridiculous degree, is out of hand in my opinion. What's wrong with a tank-top in the hot summer? Why should the shoulders be covered when it's blistering outside? Undergarments? I'm sorry but some things are just completely illogical and have no bearing on raising a kid correctly. What happened to putting on our bathing suits (more exposing than ANY clothing line) and playing on the slip and slide all day with the other kids?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: LValfre | 8:30 a.m. Sept. 19, 2011

Good parents teach their children values and then lead by example. Children who chose to listen to the wise council of loving parent are more apt to miss out on all the fun that comes with teen pregnancy and all the thrills and chills associated with the numerous and varied sexually transmitted diseases that are available just for the asking.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments