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Sex in the Media

By HERWriter
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video-games-filled-with-sexual-images BananaStock/Thinkstock

Let’s face it. Sex sells. Sexual images are prominently displayed in our movies, television, book covers and even video games.

But, what effect are the images of sex having on our children? For example, our children are exposed to the following sexual images in their video games.

According to Children Now, an organization dedicated to promoting children's health and creating national media policies that support child development, they report the following:

• 38 percent of the female characters in video games are scantily clad

• 23 percent bare breasts or cleavage
• 31 percent expose thighs
• 31 percent expose stomachs or midriffs
• 15 percent bare their behinds

Today’s video games are extremely different than my days of Pacman and Mrs. Pacman. Along with the violence, there are some seriously scantily-clad women in the video games.

Children Now stated, ʺAlthough sexy female characters are created to appeal to males, they can send harmful messages to both male and female players. Just as young girls may interpret highly sexualized characters as symbols of the ideal woman, so too may young boys. These impressions may influence girls’ feelings about themselves and their place in the world, and they may also influence boys’ expectations and treatment of females. In both cases, these images can have unhealthy effects on children’s self-esteem, behavior and relationships with others.ʺ

As parents there are some things we can do to counter these images of sex. Granted, we can’t walk around with our kids 24/7 and cover their eyes any time there is a picture of a scantily-clad beauty.

But, what we can do is talk to our kids. We can openly talk to our children about the confusing images or questions they may have about the images media-land is flashing to our children.

Over the years, studies have revealed that kids whose parents talk to them openly are less likely to engage in high-risk behavior as teens. Also, it is important to start early. And 8-12 year olds may be coming curious about sex.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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