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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Victoria's Secret Bright Young Things

One might immediately wonder what the economic enterprise of the Bright Young Things line of clothing has to do with child protection. Before answering that, in case you missed it, Victoria's Secret has introduced a line of underwear for pre teen girls. This is not a dumb company so I am sure they have ascertained that there is a market for these products that sexualize this pre adolescent market.

The question of course, is why is there a market to begin with?

We know that girls who become highly sexualized earlier have a tendency to engage in a variety of higher risk behaviours as they move into and through their teen years. This relates to sexual activity, poorer academic performance, alcohol and drug use as well as risk for earlier pregnancy. These problems have a tendency to be of concern to child protection as such youth come to their attention.

Will the promotion by Victoria's Secret be responsible for this? Clearly not although they add a powerful name to endorsing such early sexuality. They add momentum!

A more important question is to ask what parents will do with this initiative. A wise parent just won't allow it but will instead focus on family, educational, social and community endeavours that lead to successful, lower risk adolescent experiences. That will also help to reduce risks that lead to child protection involvement.

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