Student-faculty research on “sexy kids”


Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest… Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 6- to 9-year-old girls. Sixty girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing “sexy” clothes and the other wearing a trendy but covered-up, loose outfit… 68 percent of the girls said the [sexy] doll looked how she wanted to look, and 72 percent said she was more popular than the non-sexy doll.

“It’s very possible that girls wanted to look like the sexy doll because they believe sexiness leads to popularity, which comes with many social advantages,” explained lead researcher Christy Starr, [a 2010 graduate who conducted the study at Knox with] research adviser and co-author, Gail Ferguson… The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles… is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls… Read more…  Also covered by the Toronto Globe and Mail, The Christian Post, Live Science, Huffington Post, TV stations in Denver, CO, and Rochester, NY and several media in India.