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Friday, January 4, 2008

Sexualization Harms Youth

We have touched on this theme here before and I always feel the need to remind readers of why I feel subjects like this are important to the overall study of the paranormal and Unknown in general, so I'll hit all the bases as we go along:

US scientists are confident that the early sexualization of young people causes serious psychological damage which can result in physical problems later in life. Again, this study focused on young women - and I agree that young women are probably more sensitive to these matters and definitely more targeted than young men - but I feel similar repercussions can be felt by the young male audience. You have to remember that even if boys and adolescent males do not suffer the same sexualization, they are influenced by this propaganda so as to further it; they are also conditioned to view young women similarly. So while boys might not feel the same need to have perfect bodies, they are conditioned to expect this from young girls, which further perpetuates the problem.

And while the crux of the matter here is social responsibility on the part of the corporations and advertisers (fat chance; they willingly bear none), there is also a societal responsibility which we all bear in holding them responsible - but none of this matters here. The reason studies and subjects such as these are important to the issues with which we concern ourselves is because they reflect societal values and morés which are important in other areas - specifically the Supernatural and cryptozoological.

All too often, matters such as hauntings, dæmonic infestations and possessions, UFO sightings, and cryptozoologically-related events are dismissed as "mass hallucination," "superstition," "uneducated guesses," and the like. So when you get down to it, all of these larger issues play into what we are studying and looking for quite directly, and we need to be aware of how they work. While young womens' sexualization may have nothing to do with the paranormal specifically, I would not be surprised to hear of a situation in which the parents of a hypersexual young girl (or one who, perhaps, began displaying extreme and/or advanced signs of sexuality) believe the child may be possessed and are told she is simply the victim of irresponsible advertising. The thing here is that either explanation could be correct, so it is important to keep an eye on both so we can try to keep a handle on "The Bigger Picture."

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