Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualization of Girls

Lisa Thompson

Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualization of Girls

Bratz dolls, bralettes, explicit advertising and the rise of ‘raunch culture’ – what does it mean for girls? Getting Real puts the spotlight on the sexualization and objectification of girls and women in the media, popular culture and society.

Girls are portrayed as sexual at younger ages, pressured to conform to a ‘thin, hot, sexy’ norm. Clothing, music, magazines, toys and games send girls the message that they are merely the sum of their body parts. The effects of prematurely sexualizing girls are borne out in their bodies and minds, with a rise in self-destructive behaviors such as eating disorders and self-harm, along with anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

Getting Real brings together writers, advocates and academics including some of the most vocal critics of the widespread pornification of culture. They call corporations, the media and the sex industry to account for creating this toxic environment.

Lively and engaging, this collection is of interest to anyone troubled by what’s happening today and those seeking ideas to address the sexualization of girls. Getting Real is a book for anyone wanting to see a better world for the next generation.

Editor Melinda Tankard Reist is also editor of Faking It: The Female Image in Young Women’s Magazines (Women’s Forum Australia 2007) and is about to launch a new grassroots campaigns organization, Collective Shout, to name and shame corporations, advertisers and marketers who objectify women and sexualize girls to sell products and services.

A diverse list of high profile contributors crosses the usual political divides, including: Steve Biddulph (Raising Boys; Manhood); Maggie Hamilton (What’s Happening to Our Girls?); Clive Hamilton AM (Growth Fetish; Affluenza); Louise Newman (child psychiatrist); Melissa Farley (director, Prostitution Research and Education, San Francisco).

Advance Praise

Getting Real is powerful, disturbing, confronting. If we don’t challenge what we’re beginning to accept as the social norm, the risk to our girls will only continue to grow.

—Melinda Marchetta, author, Looking for Alibrandi

Getting Real unflinchingly tracks the abuse that, with the pervasive penetration of pornography, becomes normal culture. In the sexuality where objectification of children and infantilization of women converge, the less power you have, the sexier you are. Girls increasingly live in a world pornography has made. The book shows what needs to be stopped and why.

—Catharine A. MacKinnon, Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School, and James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

This book is essential reading for parents, educators, and everyone who wishes to make the world a safer and healthier place for all children.

—Jean Kilbourne, EdD, author, So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can do to Protect Their Kids

Getting Real gives the mindlessness of this cultural misdirection a good shake. It does it in a straightforward language and with academic attention to detail. The book will be a valuable guide, helping young people reclaim their freedom.

—Tome Costellow, CEO, World Vision Australia

Getting Real contains a treasure trove of information and should be mandatory reading for all works with young people in health, education and welfare.

—Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg, Adolescent Psychologist


2 Responses

  1. Finally– voices loud and clear shouting with greater words than i – more articulate- I can see help out there- now can we get the word out that there is help and books and make them read?


  2. Great site made very interesting reading! keep up the good work! 🙂

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