"When no boys are in the classroom girls take part more. They answer more questions, and they argue more. I guess you would say they debate more, but I remember the same situation happening when boys were in the class and a couple of them yelled out "Cat Fight!" The girls got angry, and they stopped debating."
Boarding School Guides:
“Celeste hid the belly ring from me for quite a while. It was a surprise visit to her school that revealed the secret. When I saw her walking across the parking lot with her friends, it struck me that they looked like a group of street walkers. It was clear by their body language and outfits: they wanted boys to fall all over themselves to get with them.”
We live in an overly sexualized society. Everything is about sex: music, movies, TV. Even food is often presented as something sexy and alluring. It should hardly be surprising that our teenaged girls are emulating what they see in the larger culture.
In most states you have to be 21 to order alcoholic drinks, 16 to drive a car, and 19 to buy cigarettes. The law recognizes that adult activities require mature responsible behavior. Sex is also adult behavior that may have consequences like pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and emotional trauma, but it is harder to regulate by law!
Parents are often concerned that a daughter is too sexy in her clothing, behavior and language. They believe that by dressing in a revealing way and using slang for body parts and sexual behaviors, she presents herself as too available, and that she may be more susceptible to date violence and mistreatment by boys.
However, the current thinking is that rape and sexual assaults are crimes of power, not sexual desire. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center, as a typical example, notes on their website …The idea that if a girl wears sexy clothing, she is “asking for it” is a misconception. The fact is Rape is NEVER the survivor's fault. NOBODY asks to be raped.
Many people in this field have worked hard to convey the idea that a female owns her body and no one has the right to abuse her no matter what she is wearing or how she acts.
However, there is actually some evidence that many boys still believe girls who present themselves in a sexy way are “asking for it,” and there is a lot of evidence that date violence is increasing among young people. In a recent study led by Dr. Christian Molidor, 36.4% of teenaged girls reported that they had experienced some physical violence in a dating relationship. Girls were more likely to be punched or forced to engage in sexual activity, sometimes because a boy “misread” a girl’s cues. Over half the girls said their boyfriends were drunk when the violence occurred.
Keep in mind that 68% of rapes of teenage girls occur in private homes with males they know.
A parent may also worry that their daughter will attract older boys. Again there is some evidence to back up this common sense idea. In a study by Dr. Christine Kaestle, 13 year old girls were six times more likely to have sexual intercourse if a boyfriend was six years or more older than if she were dating someone her own age. The odds went down as teens got older. But 17 year olds were still twice as likely to have sex with boys over age 23 than with boys closer to their age.
You can also discuss with your daughter the fact that most teenaged girls who do engage in sexual intercourse live to regret it. In an article published in USA Today, almost 80% of the girls ages 14 to 17 lamented their choice. Many of the girls “gave in” because the boys wanted it and for other reasons that indicate low self-esteem on the part of the girls. A full 25% of sexually active girls ages said they felt depressed a lot or all of the time, compared with 7.7% of virgins. More than 14% of sexually active girls had attempted suicide in the previous year.
It is very rough for parents to go up against very sophisticated advertising campaigns by the fashion industry that is convincing young girls to buy revealing clothing. One in three high school girls has her own credit or ATM card, and even pre-teens buy clothing without adults present. When parents do go along, the mall can become a battleground. Many parents complain that most stores only sell sexy clothes (even in pre-teen sizes), and that nothing else is readily available.
Some adults are counteracting the power of the fashion industry through boycotts and protests. Apparently Abercrombie and Fitch went too far with its 1999 Christmas catalog depicting nude teens having group sex, and its spring edition called “Surf Nekkid.” Parents urged government officials to classify the catalog as pornography, as they began a boycott the store.
Other parents have joined school officials to require school uniforms and dress codes, even in public schools. Barbara Cruz, in her book “School Dress Codes” writes that uniforms keep a focus on academics, not clothing, and decrease verbal abuse and sexual harassment among students.
Many teen girls admire the styles of role models like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and other sexy pop stars. Your daughter may point out this is the style of her peer group, and you will ruin her life and turn her into a dork if you make her dress like a kid.
Your daughter may tell you that her clothing is an expression of her sexuality, she has the same right to express her sexuality as a boy, and that she owns her body and her sexuality. However, even though she using feminist language, chances are that if she’s dressing and behaving in an overly sexy way, she feels just the opposite. She probably feels that her value is depends only on male validation of her physical attractiveness.
The best thing to do is to help her develop her talents and abilities so that her self-esteem depends upon her own achievements rather than her physical attractiveness and what her peer group thinks of her. As she becomes more interested in career choices and making a contribution, she will realize that no one will take her ideas and abilities seriously until she dresses in a more presentable way.
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