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Dr. Leonard Sax is a family physician and founder of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, who lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and daughter. The author of two previous books concerning the effects of gender differences on learning, Sax argues in his new book, Girls on the Edge, that today’s teens and tweens look confident on the outside but have a dangerously fragile sense of self.
Q: You believe girls’ anxiety is connected to new issues, one of which is “self-objectification.” What do you mean by that?
A: Forty years ago, if you went into a department store and looked at clothes for seven-year-olds, they’d be quite different than the clothes on sale for 17-year-olds. Today there’s no longer any distinction; the same short skirts are sold to girls in Grade 2 and girls in Grade 12. T-shirts that say, “Yes, but not with you” are now sold to eight-year-olds.
Girls understand what these T-shirts are about: pretending to be sexually aware. We have girls who are now putting on a pretense of adult sexuality that they couldn’t possibly feel, and the danger of putting on a show is that you lose touch with your own sexuality. You’re wearing a mask, and when you take off the mask, there’s not a face there.
You find a lot of 12- and 13-year-old girls who are providing sexual favours to 16- and 17-year-old boys. In the ’70s and ’80s, sex was about intimacy, trying to give each other pleasure. Today, so many teenage girls I’ve spoken to across Canada and the U.S. regard sex as a commodity that girls provide to boys. Increasingly, unfortunately, that is the case. For many, many girls, the most common form of sexual intimacy is oral sex, with the girl servicing a boy. And neither the girls or the boys see anything wrong with this.
A: Girls spend a lot of time photoshopping their pictures, making themselves look a little bit thinner than they are and getting rid of the pimples, because they know boys are interested in the photos on these sites. So you’ve got 14-year-old girls essentially presenting themselves as a brand, trying to create a public persona, polishing an image of themselves that’s all surface: how you look and what you did yesterday, not who you are and what you want to be. And that leads to a sense of disconnection from themselves, because in most cases, these girls don’t even realize that their persona is not who they are. They’re just focused on striving to please their market and presenting the brand they think will sell. It’s one thing for Angelina Jolie to be doing this—she’s an adult—but it’s really toxic for a 14-year-old. It gets in the way of the real job of adolescence, which is figuring out who you are, what you want, what is your heart’s desire.
Originally posted by AreaMan
Oh what a sad sad world we live in
Wish I had more to say but I think this really says it all... :/