Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Coalition can unite on the sexualisation of children

Whatever four-way division occurs on Thursday’s vote on university tuition fees, it will be but a blip. Even David Davis’ one-man rebellion will quickly be forgotten, for Christmas is coming and our children are getting fat being exploited.

And David Cameron intends to do something about it.

He has been talking about this since 2006: Lolita beds; sexy dolls in mini-skirts aimed at five-year-olds; padded bras and bikinis for girls of seven; fishnet tights and high-heel shoes aimed at 11-year-olds; ‘Playboy’ bunny ears aimed at young teens; t-shirts with slogans such as ‘porn star’ or ‘babe’ aimed clearly at pre-pubescent girls.

Even Disney characters have conformed to the sexualised zeitgeist: have you compared Little Mermaid’s skimpy clothes and the cleavage of Pocahontas with the modesty of Snow White and Cinderella?

Shortly after he became Leader of the Opposition, Mr Cameron said: “The sort of country I want is one where it is not just the Government that feels outraged about the early commercialisation and sexualisation of our children, but companies should stop doing it, they should take some responsibility.”

He has consistently demanded social responsibility 'instead of businesses and media companies encouraging the premature sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood'.

And now, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, he intends to find some via media between conservatism and liberalism and legislate on the matter.

And the Coalition is conveniently placed and perfectly comprised to find precisely the right formula. For we do not want girls growing up ashamed of their bodies; or a ‘nanny state’ dictating to parents what they may or may not buy for their children; or a generation of parents and children categorised as delinquents when they are really the victims.

This is not an issue for Left or Right. And neither is it an issue which should divide the Coalition. For the problem is not so much the sexualisation of children, but the sexualisation of society. And on that, politicians of all hues will agree.

That the modern era is sex-obsessed is not in dispute; we live in a consumer society, and there is little that is marketed without a glance, a wink, a flirt, a breast, or allusions to sexual intercourse, because ‘sex sells’. If one were to judge by the media (which is more frequently a mirror to society than a catalyst for change), the fascination with people’s sex lives is now more important than politics, religion, philosophy or even Mammon. Jesus may have had to address the latter as the dominating idol of his era; his judgment was that one may not serve both God and Mammon (Mt 6:24). He did not enter into discussion on the fiscal minutiae of cash, credit, bonds, shares, loans or interest; a macro-warning not to be obsessed with Mammon was sufficient. If one were to apply the same principle to the modern idol – let us call it ‘Eros’ – it is doubtful that Jesus would address its sub-divisions (gay, bi, straight, oral, anal, tantric); he would most likely directly challenge society’s obsessive fixation with Eros, and by so doing confront both those who prioritise issues of sexuality and those in the church who presume to judge them.

But he would preserve special judgment for those who corrupt children, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.

We expect our children increasingly to behave like adults: we grant them rights and liberties; give them choices and responsibilities; permit them to acquire condoms, morning-after pills and make a quick call to the abortion clinic before lunch, all without parental consent or even parental knowledge.

Patient confidentiality, you see.

Data protection.

Health and Safety.

And so children are forced to grow up at an ever-earlier age, because the parental bond of authority and respect has been loosened by the state.

We have seen the normalisation of the sexualisation of children because we increasingly demand that they act like grown-ups when they should be enjoying being children.

But many parents are so afraid of being prosecuted for child abuse, or of having their children abducted by social services, that they will not discipline. They are reluctant to protect for fear of confining; they are loath to say ‘no’, lest they be accused of narrow-mindedness, bigotry or extremism, and arrested under some law by which the state has determined that all children belong to it.

The increasing pressure on parents to buy age-inappropriate items for their children causes considerable stress to parents: no-one wants their children to become isolated and ostracised by their friends if they do not have the same things as other children.

There is no joy for the child if one is dressed like an Amish amidst a gaggle of Barbies.

But research suggests that the Amish are healthy, happy and at peace with themselves, while the Barbies have low-self esteem, suffer from depression and are vulnerable to the onset of eating disorders such as anorexia.

The sexualisation of our children is nothing less than child abuse.

Childhood represents humanity’s original imaginative enthusiasm for the world.

It is for the Coalition to find the right liberal-conservative formula between censorship and freedom for nudging society back towards purity, modesty and a healthy childhood innocence.

It can’t last forever, of course.

But it cannot be right that out of the mouths of babes and sucklings come filth and expletives, where once there was joy, laughter, wisdom and goodness.

And it is heartening indeed that Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat schools minister, has appointed Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers' Union Christian charity, to conduct a review on the sexualisation of childhood. The charity says:

In 81 countries, our members share one heartfelt vision - to bring about a world where God's love is shown through loving, respectful and flourishing relationships. This is not a vague hope, but a goal we actively pursue through prayer, programmes, policy work and community relationships. By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, we tackle the most urgent needs challenging relationships and communities.
Mr Bailey has asked parents to contact him with their concerns and send him products that they regard as inappropriate. And he has promised swift action.

On this wholly moral pursuit, the disparate and disjunctive, fractured and fragmented Coalition can be united.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kids only wear this stuff with their mother's approval (and connivance). It's all about failed dreams and wanting their little girl to enjoy the attractiveness/celebrity lifestyle that they aspired to and failed to realise. Dads have their version too, i.e. football.

Word verification: 'hotos'

7 December 2010 at 10:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hollie Greig case highlights the state's attitude to the sexual abuse of children.


7 December 2010 at 10:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As mother to a one year old girl I was shocked when a well meaning great aunt gave her a dancing doll which sings britney spears whilst wearing fishnets (offending item hidden away) and I feel Im seen as a bit strange as my 4year old son is still a little boy and doesn't have any computer games yet. But I'd rather they had a childhood

7 December 2010 at 10:56  
Blogger Jess The Dog said...

Your Grace,

It is wrong to expect the government to take a stand on this issue. This situation is a reflection of the warped values of society as a whole. The problem is caused by the existence of a market for this 'material' and the solution also lies in the market.

Quite simply, anyone selling or purchasing such items for children should be labelled a 'likely paedophile'. Can there be any other motive? Identify manufacturers, suppliers and sales outlets which profit from these products, publicise it online - on Facebook - and the market will collapse in a week or two. Name and shame those idiots who buy the wretched things...would they wish to be labelled 'paedophiles'? In this way, we can reclaim some of our lost values.

7 December 2010 at 11:00  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

I am somewhat surprised that Sarah Teather has been given this brief when I examine her voting record on moral issues – against Christianity.

I am surprised that she will be working with the Christian charity Mothers’ Union – a charity that may well be terminated by the Charity Commissioner as its members pray – and under a left-liberal materialist regime – it cannot be proved that prayer is a public benefit. The Mothers’ Union dares to go against the social mores supported by left-liberal legislation: it supports the heterosexual norm.

Nay, my guess is that this initiative will fail: parents are too afraid of taking responsibility for their children (if indeed they know how). The State is increasingly the parent (as this initiative suggests). The social norms of the left-liberals have turned people away from worshipping God to worshipping Eros.

As Hugh Hefner, clearly being used as a ‘mere tool’ once said: “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex”.

I wonder if he had met Harriet Harman who with the NCCL in the 1970s….?

7 December 2010 at 11:30  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Any "swift action" that the Government takes will mean still more regulation. What the Government ought to do is stop interfering in family life, stop treating children as State property. "Data protection", "patient confidentiality", and so on, mean that nobody is allowed to know anything about any one else, except for the State, which knows everything; and that gives them immense power over us.

7 December 2010 at 11:53  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Cranmer said

The sexualisation of our children is nothing less than child abuse.

That is over the top, I agree that it is a problem but a dose of religion is not going to clear it up unless that is you are recommending Islam!

But research suggests that the Amish are healthy, happy and at peace with themselves, while the Barbies have low-self esteem, suffer from depression and are vulnerable to the onset of eating disorders such as anorexia.

Again an over the top generalisation based on zero evidence. Where are the studies that show that the Amish are well adjusted, depression free and with high self esteem? Perhaps you mean obedient, ignorant and repressed? And to suggest that vast swathes of young people are beset with depression and eating disorders is straight out of the Daily Mail hymn sheet, you should get out more!

This is a complex issue that will not respond to the magic wand of religion. Society has changed enormously during the last 60 years and not all of it bad despite what many here drone on about. Young girls have always wanted to look grown up, way back when I was a kid they used to dress up and use mum’s lipstick. The solution is to persuade the big retailers, publishers and other stakeholders to moderate their ambition to make money from this practice, by shaming them and associating them with child exploitation, not by dressing them in burkas!

7 December 2010 at 11:56  
Anonymous John Hayward said...

Pity the Coalition couldn't have more decisively delivered already overdue "swift action" by acting on the Home Office's 2010 "Sexualisation of young people review"

7 December 2010 at 12:23  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis


Kirk Miller, Berwood Yost, Sean Flaherty, Marianne M. Hillemeier, Gary A. Chase, Carol S. Weisman, Anne-Marie Dyer

We performed one of the first systematic, population-based surveys of women in Amish culture. We used these data to examine health status and health risks in a representative sample of 288 Amish women ages 18-45 living in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in particular for risks associated with preterm and low birthweight infants, compared with a general population sample of 2,002 women in Central Pennsylvania. Compared with women in the general population, Amish women rated their physical health approximately at the same level, but reported less stress, fewer symptoms of depression, and had higher aggregate scores for mental health. Amish women reported low levels of intimate partner violence, high levels of social support, and they perceived low levels of unfair treatment owing to gender compared with the general population. Amish women also reported higher fertility, fewer low birthweight babies, but the same number of preterm births as the general population. The findings suggest that these outcomes may be due to higher levels of social support and better preconceptional behavior among Amish women.

7 December 2010 at 12:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The sexualisation of our children is nothing less than child abuse."

I agree completely.
Now , will Cameron speak out against the Islamists who condone under-age marriage?
No,he will not.

Marcus Foxall

7 December 2010 at 12:35  
Anonymous len said...

When God is rejected by a Society society will start worshipping 'idols' turn inward and start worshipping 'self.'
What forms these idols take is only too obvious.
Pop stars,film stars,football stars and even material objects ,cars, houses ,etc. A cult of personality has sprung up evidenced in the Dawkin`s phenomenon and secularism in which the intellect and 'reason' is 'idolised'and exalted over the Word of God( Mr Davis is a perfect example of this ! )
So impressionable kids want to look like their idols,want to talk like their idols (who are for the most part are puffed up with pride and self importance.)
'Self' in the fallen man when given total freedom to express itself is totally selfish, totally destructive,and concerned almost totally with fulfilling its own desires regardless of others.
Things will get considerably worse before they get better.
All this of course is prophesied in the Bible.

"For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,"( 2 Timothy)

7 December 2010 at 12:36  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Mr Singh whist I am always impressed by the speed at which you retrieve quotes this study is specifically with regard to health and well-being during pregnancy so perhaps not as convincing as you imply.

But all is not sweetness and light...

On February 16, 2004, Ruth*, a twenty-year-old Amish woman with long brown hair and a rail-slim build, drove off in a friend's dark-green minivan with nothing more than a few books, her diary, the clothes she was wearing and some underwear. In the process, she severed ties with her family and the conservative Old Order Amish community in which she'd been raised.
Ruth says she was six — maybe younger — when her older brothers, Johnny E. Byler, twenty-six, and Eli E. Byler, twenty-three, first sexually assaulted her. Over the next decade, they raped Ruth more than 200 times in the washrooms, barns and bedrooms of the farmhouses in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania where they lived. At least once, her stepfather, seventy-seven-year-old William Kempf, attacked her as well, knocking her unconscious during an argument.......

7 December 2010 at 12:47  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Our country is disappearing around the U-bend of economic and political disaster and all witless Dave can do is dictate how parents bring up their kids.


7 December 2010 at 13:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

What is interesting on the Mothers’ Union forum and with some posters here is that they see State interference in the market as the principal solution.

The market simply meets demand.

The demand comes combined with the acquiescence of parents.

What these parents are really shouting is this: ‘I can’t help myself’. What they are denying is their ‘freedom of will’ which, presumably, they see as displaced by a ‘cultural determinism’. This they seem to plead should excuse their lack of self-control and this lack of self-control is to be managed by the State.

In doing this the people have degraded themselves to the status of objects or patients in need of repair or cure. It’s as if they have become the ‘willing’ slaves of the Welfare State.

This really has become a place where the astute, observant and ambitious politician sees the people as sheep to be sheared: they are willing to be sheared.

We may well have arrived in the post-democratic age.

7 December 2010 at 14:06  
Blogger The Lizard King said...

Your Grace,

A little more modesty/chastity all round would help society re-balance its morality I`m sure.

I doubt more lecturing from the fickle Coagulation will make a jot of difference ,at best it may bring the subject in to the open and I`m certain its clumsy nannying will polarise families.

Some will agree and take heed others will react with indignation or indifference and press ahead with dressing their child as they or their child wishes.

Personally I`ve dont see what the problem is,kids always want to dress like adults,they enjoy it,in some countrys kids run around naked,where`s the outrage?

Sometimes I suspect the issue`s are in the minds of the adult observer`s.....

7 December 2010 at 14:50  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

" Mr Cameron said: “The sort of country I want is one where it is not just the Government that feels outraged about the early commercialisation and sexualisation of our children"

Would this by any chance be the same Mr Cameron whose touching 'compassion' extends so heartily to 'Gay Pride' events as well?

7 December 2010 at 14:57  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

Let's not be fooled, your Grace; the sexualisation of children actually serves the State's interests very well; it keeps children in their hands, and separates them from their parents (always the Statist dream). And opposing sexualisation would mean opposing the powerful abortion lobby and the (very powerful) homosexualist lobby. I read the other day that Peter Tatchell, and others of his ilk, claim that our society just does not have enough sex, or openness about it, etc.

7 December 2010 at 15:13  
Blogger Weekend Yachtsman said...

What John Thomas (good name!) said.

Cameron just wants more regulations, period. And this is one area not yet subject to the diktats of his masters in Brussels, so he feels free to flex his statist muscles on it.

But the history of sumptuary laws teaches us that he will fail.

And a good thing too: it's none of his business what my children wear.

7 December 2010 at 15:33  
Anonymous graham said...

John Thomsas:
"Let's not be fooled, your Grace; the sexualisation of children actually serves the State's interests very well; it keeps children in their hands, and separates them from their parents (always the Statist dream)". .

Weekend Yachtsman said...
"And a good thing too: it's none of his business what my children wear."

Very good points from both.
Many politicians are such sly operators - we have to watch their every step - not vice versa!

7 December 2010 at 16:12  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I am quite sure that some where within the secret meetings of global marketing , they have realised that you can sell things that make you grown up as reviewed and judged by your piers , indeed if you want "that look" it is useually in the mags you read or the sites you visit . I recall my particular brandising for a motorcar , of course I could never choose bog standard car , they were just available for those who had no style , so you can see this in many purchases .
However with children , its about look and fashion , rather than manners and intellect and there is money to be made in the dilemmas of being cool or not , right up to the point where your of that age when you browse in charity shops .
Of course the jesus brand of houte coture a somewhat saggy greyish wool blanket material one piece overgarment with a contrasting tassiled waist sash with some loops for hanging your travel items , available in all sizes from child to adult , perhaps wouldnt be a modern success .
The logical outcome would be put a warning out that UK consumerism will not welcome either the commercialisation or sexualisation of children , it perhaps will be troubled peace but clearly will stop bad santa getting to your kids before your old enough to know that he could be the childcatcher for pure money intents .
The Internet/twitter/facebook however is somthing different , as we are up against a powerful "barrierless" argument of exploration and censorship is bad ,lobby groups, offering the useual and tiresome nil argument that prohibiton never worked .
These people of course dont take any responsibility for later more unfettered emotions that take place as no questions on respect/responsability were put in these minds earlier , there target is only those who oppose them .

Len however has a good take on it for me , but I am also pondering Daniel chap12 vs 11 KJV

7 December 2010 at 17:45  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

On Newsnight last night there was an update of the Oldham experiment to integrate schools:
Whilst there were exceptions, school children from the Muslim community looked far less 'worldly' than their 'made-up' counterparts.
I see children going to school who wouldn't appear out of place on a St Trinian's set. What happened to school discipline?

7 December 2010 at 19:12  
Anonymous uk Fred said...

Your Grace, I fear that many of the posters on both sides of the argument fail to remember that we have had 13 years of all responsibility being taken from individuals, and for many,especially younger, parents it will be difficult to assert their responsibilities in this prevailing culture.

7 December 2010 at 22:31  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

It's all about profit for big corporates, I'm not against companies making huge profits but not at the expense of children and their well-being. It's the corporates that have quickly jumped on the bandwagon to manufacture and sell the general public this inappropriate clothing for young children based on how some celebrities dress their little ones, and their various marketing ploys aimed at the parents that I feel should be more tightly legislated against.

The media too via all these magazines that influence and sway the public by promoting inappropriate dressing for children as cool should have some tighter legislation as to what they are allowed to promote with regards to minors.

We all know some celebrities loose the plot at times and others are not quite the full ticket to be dressing their little daughters seriously in adult garb. (I felt sorry for little Suri Cruise dressed in high heals and red lipstick aged 4 yrs old.) surely they should have a duty of responsibility to the general public not to flaunt their children dressed inappropriately. It's not cute at all in fact it looks a bit sick.

7 December 2010 at 22:50  
Blogger Greg_L-W. said...


it is sad to see there will always be people too ashamed to put their names to promoting the lies and self promotion of Saint Green of Sick Causes.

May I suggest that those with a brain of their own read the reports, letters and facts regarding a 'faux' case of unsubstantiable sexual abuse and the clear lack of admissible evidence.

Don't be spoon fed by anonymous charlatans too ashamed to put their names to their stupidity see:
Judge the facts for yourself.

There are so many GENUINE cases that to see the Snake Oil Salesmen latch onto a scam is sickening.


8 December 2010 at 00:24  
Blogger Death Bredon said...

If English parents cannot be trusted any more to dress their children appropriately, then, in essence, the English nation has become too debased for mere sartorial legislation to cure. A more likely remedy would begin with the reinstatement the 17th century canons of the C of E along with the Test Act. Half measures simply will not do.

8 December 2010 at 03:38  
Blogger Tapestry said...

As Madeleine McCann's case shows this is more than merely dressing children sexually. http://the-tap.blogspot.com/2009/09/german-government-wants-children-groped.html

8 December 2010 at 05:01  
Anonymous len said...

Mr Graham Davis( 12:47)

You( Seem)to be confusing religion or belonging to a cult with True Christianity.True Christianity is a born again ,Spirit filled believer, one who shares a united Spirit with Christ.
Now anyone who fills the above description is not about to rape anyone.So obviously we are talking about 'counterfeit believers' of which their are many!

You get incensed when Christians 'lump' together Atheists and call them immoral and responsible for all the crimes against Humanity but you are guilty of exactly the same thing against genuine Christians.

8 December 2010 at 08:25  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

Of course, Weekend Yachtsman ("It's none of [Cameron's] business ...") the problem is if we deny all possibility of the state intervening on behalf of peoples' good, then we can get a situation where a few really bad things can be done by individuals to others - or get back to industrialists sending children down mines (are you watching The Do Gooders (Ian Hislop)?) Oh, and thanks for your comments on the old name; my parents were inspired that day in 1951 ... Actually, I often wonder why so many feel the need to hide behind pseudonyms ...

8 December 2010 at 10:36  
Blogger PaulineG said...

This initiative would be more credible were it not for the Government's child-grooming programme masquerading as sex education.



Perhaps they could be encouraged to join up the dots?

8 December 2010 at 10:48  
Blogger Owl said...

If we had less social engineering by government supported charities etc. then society would right itself.
We need less Government not more. We need little society not big society.
If I am responsible for my family and there is no handout if I can't be bothered or it is too much effort, then I will try much harder.
It's really quite simple, give responsibility back to the people and tell the Goverment to p*** off.

8 December 2010 at 11:02  
Blogger Ibrahimblogs said...

Early sexualisation of children needs to be stopped by all means. But we all need to be cautious against this. Parents need to take as much responsibility as the various companies need to take.

This is Ibrahim from Israeli Uncensored News

8 December 2010 at 12:57  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

@Ibrahim 12:57

But if the merchandise simply isn't on the market and the sexualised children's clothes aren't positively promoted or portrayed in the magazines then the parents couldn't buy them or wouldn't be so keen on wanting them.

8 December 2010 at 17:16  
Blogger DWMF said...

Cranmer & Foxall,

I'm 100% with you both. The imposition of wearing the niqab or full face veil on young girls or unmarried women is equally repulsive, as it is also early sexualisation of young girls. I would like someone in Parliament to point this out. Jack Straw, perhaps?

8 December 2010 at 18:40  

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