Why parents are to blame for the sexualisation of children

Daily Mail 25th June 2011

Many parents either turn a blind eye or actively encourage the sexualisation of their children, claims the author of a government report into childhood. They see nothing wrong with youngsters lying about their ages to sign up to the social networking site Facebook, watching adult films or wearing provocative clothing. Shop staff have been assaulted by parents after being challenged about buying 18-rated DVDs for the child with them. The study, Letting Children be Children, has led to a pledge from High St stores to stop selling ‘sexy’ underwear to children and a promise from watchdog Ofcom to tighten up the use of sexual images before the broadcast watershed. But author Reg Bailey blames ‘complicit’ parents for an ‘unthinking drift towards ever greater commercialisation and sexualisation’ of children and described it as ‘poor parenting’. He was ‘alarmed’ at the number of adults who bought violent video games and played them with their children. Mr Bailey said: ‘One father said it was okay he played Grand Theft Auto with his 13-year-old son because it helped them bond together.’