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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.
The APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls was formed in response to these expressions of public concern.
Finally, at the extreme end, parents, teachers and peers, as well as others (e.g., other family members, coaches, or strangers) sometimes sexually abuse, assault, prostitute or traffic girls, a most destructive form of sexualization.
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.
In 2005, APA adopted the policy resolution on *Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media (PDF, 89KB), which documented the negative impact of exposure to violent interactive media on children and youth and called for the reduction of violence in these media.
These resolutions and reports addressed how violent media and advertising affect children and youth, but they did not address sexualization.