A recent study published in the journal Sex Roles revealed that nearly 30% of young girls clothing had “sexualized” characteristics.
Led by Sarah Murnen, a professor of psychology at Kenyon College, a research team studied 5,666 items of young girls’ clothing available on 15 different websites for popular stores in the U.S. The purpose of the study was to examine “girls’ clothing as a possible socializing influence that may contribute to the development of self-objectification in preteen girls.”
Researchers examined the nature and frequency of “sexualized” clothing — anything “that revealed or emphasized a sexualized body part, had characteristics associated with sexiness, and/or had sexually suggestive writing.” They also noted whether the clothing had childlike characteristics, like polka dots.
25.4% of the clothing studied had both sexualizing and childlike characteristics and an additional 4% had only sexualizing characteristics. Researchers believe this may correlate with sexual objectification during adolescence.
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