Any mom who's had the (dis)pleasure of raising a pre-teen daughter will probably say, "I told you so." A research team from Ohio's Kenyon College scoured the websites of 15 popular clothing stores to determine just how much sexy clothing is available for young girls, sizes 6-14. According to the abstract of their study, "sexualizing clothing was defined as clothing that revealed or emphasized a sexualized body part, had characteristics associated with sexiness, and/or had sexually suggestive writing."
What they discovered confirmed their initial impression that American culture impresses the notion that females should be "treated as objects of the male gaze" upon girls at an early age. 25.4 percent of the clothing they examined had "both sexualizing and childlike characteristics," while 69 percent were strictly childlike and only 4 percent were simply sexual. No surprise here, the researchers report that"'tween' stores like Abercrombie Kids had the highest proportion of sexualizing clothing."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.